Go to Contents Go to Navigation

(LEAD) U.S. says it is seeking diplomacy, other measures, over N. Korea's missile launches

All News 09:07 February 01, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with Pentagon's statement; MODIFIES headline; ADDS photo)

WASHINGTON, Jan. 31 (Yonhap) -- The United States stated Monday that it is trying to find a diplomatic means to address the North Korea problem while pushing for "different steps" to hold the country responsible for its recent series of ballistic missile launches.

"Even as we seek to find ways to address this challenge diplomatically we're moving forward with different steps to hold the DPRK responsible and accountable," Ned Price, spokesperson for the State Department, said during a regular press briefing, using the acronym for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

He was responding to a question about a string of missile launches by Pyongyang this month.

On Sunday, North Korea fired an "intermediate-and long-range ballistic missile" toward the East Sea, the seventh round of missile testing in January.

This composite photo, released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency, shows its intermediate-range ballistic missile, Hwasong-12, being launched on Jan. 30, 2022. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

This composite photo, released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency, shows its intermediate-range ballistic missile, Hwasong-12, being launched on Jan. 30, 2022. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

"Of course the DPRK's ballistic missile and nuclear weapons program, this is a challenge that is long standing," the official added. "It is a challenge that has vexed successive administrations. We have developed an approach that at its center seeks to find a diplomatic means by which to achieve the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."

He also cited the Joe Biden administration's own sanctions on eight North Korean individuals and entities supporting the Kim Jong-un regime's major weapons programs.

"We are continuing to discuss this challenge in the U.N. as well," he said.

The Pentagon also said it still believes diplomacy is the "right way" to deal with the Kim regime, with the U.S. government willing to have dialogue without precondition.

It urged Pyongyang to stop those provocations, abide by the U.N. Security Council resolutions and quit "threatening" its neighbors in the region.

Speaking to reporters, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby voiced concern about the North's "advancing" ballistic missile program, as the secretive regime learns from missile launches.

"That is why again we are focused on making sure that we have the right capabilities available to us and to our allies in the region," he added. "Until a peaceful denuclearization of the peninsula, we have an obligation to be ready and that's what we're focused on right now."
(END)

HOME TOP
Send Feedback
How can we improve?
Thanks for your feedback!