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S. Korean nuke envoy holds phone talks with U.S., Japanese counterparts over N.K. missile

North Korea 16:22 January 30, 2022

SEOUL, Jan. 30 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's top nuclear envoy held phone talks with his U.S. and Japanese counterparts Sunday over North Korea's launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile earlier in the day, Seoul's foreign ministry said.

Noh Kyu-duk, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, and his American counterpart, Sung Kim, denounced the North's latest missile launch as a challenge to the international community's efforts to diplomatically resolve the Korean peninsula issue, as well as to the U.N. Security Council resolutions, according to the ministry.

"(The two sides) agreed to maintain the security posture based on the firm South Korea-U.S. alliance and continue efforts for an early resumption of dialogue with North Korea," the ministry said in a statement.

Noh also held a separate phone conversation with his Japanese counterpart, Takehiro Funakoshi, and agreed to continue "close communications and cooperation" to keep the situation on the peninsula under control.

North Korea fired the missile from the northern province of Jagang at 7:52 a.m., and it flew about 800 kilometers at a top altitude of 2,000 km, according to South Korea's military.

It marked the North's seventh show of force this year and by far its biggest weapons test since the test-firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile in November 2017.

Pyongyang appears to be inching closer to its earlier threat to consider suspending a self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and long-range ballistic missile tests amid an impasse in its nuclear negotiations with the United States.

A news report on North Korea's launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile is aired on a television at Seoul Station on Jan. 30, 2022. South Korea's military said the missile flew about 800 kilometers at a top altitude of 2,000 km. (Yonhap)

scaaet@yna.co.kr
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