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Wendy Sherman denounces N. Korean missile tests in talks with S. Korean, Japanese counterparts

All News 11:47 February 02, 2022

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman on Tuesday denounced North Korea's recent missile tests in a telephone conversation with her South Korean and Japanese counterparts.

The U.S. diplomat, however, also reiterated U.S. readiness to engage with North Korea in diplomacy, according to state department spokesperson Ned Price.

"Deputy Secretary Sherman denounced the DPRK's recent and escalatory ballistic missile launches as violations of UN Security Council resolutions and destabilizing to the region and discussed ongoing efforts to achieve the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," Price said of Sherman's call with South Korea's First Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun and Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Mori Takeo.

"The Deputy Secretary highlighted the United States' continued readiness to engage in serious and sustained diplomacy with the DPRK in order to make tangible progress," he added in a press release.

DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North's official name.

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)

The three-way call came after North Korea launched an intermediate range ballistic missile on Sunday (Seoul time) that it later identified as a "Hwasong 12-type ground-to-ground intermediate- and long-range ballistic missile."

The launch marked the North's seventh missile test this year.

Sherman and her Japanese and South Korean counterparts highlighted the importance of cooperation between their countries in dealing with regional challenges, according to the department spokesperson.

"The Deputy Secretary and vice foreign ministers reaffirmed the importance of trilateral cooperation between the United States, the ROK, and Japan in tackling pressing challenges in the region and across the globe," he said, referring to South Korea by its official name, the Republic of Korea.

Price on Monday said the U.S. will continue to seek diplomacy with North Korea but also steps to hold the North accountable for its actions.

Earlier reports said the U.S. has called for a U.N. Security Council meeting to be held this week to discuss North Korea's recent series of missile tests.

The three-way conversation between the U.S., Japanese and South Korean vice foreign ministers also came after U.S. special representative for North Korea, Sung Kim, held discussions with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts, separately, over the weekend.

During his talks, the U.S. special envoy condemned North Korea's recent missile launch, but also stressed U.S. readiness for serious and sustained diplomacy with the North, the state department said.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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