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Top nuclear envoys of S. Korea, U.S., Japan hold phone talks over N. Korea

All News 18:06 March 14, 2022

SEOUL, March 14 (Yonhap) -- The top nuclear envoys of South Korea, the United States and Japan talked over phone Monday to denounce North Korea's recent missile tests and call on Pyongyang to cease acts that could escalate tensions, Seoul's foreign ministry said.

Noh Kyu-duk, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, his U.S. counterpart Sung Kim and Japan's Takehiro Funakoshi held the phone conversation amid rising tension on the Korean Peninsula over the possibility of Pyongyang's intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system test.

The trio denounced the North's recent spate of ballistic missile launches as violations of U.N. Security Council resolutions and urged it to return to dialogue at an early date, the ministry said in a release.

They also agreed to closely monitor Pyongyang's moves and remain in close cooperation to respond to its acts, it added.

South Korea and the U.S. accused Pyongyang on Friday of having tested a new ICBM system on Feb. 27 and March 5 ahead of a full-range missile test.

Seoul and Washington have detected signs that North Korea is preparing to conduct another ICBM firing as early as this week, according to informed sources.

Concerns have persisted that the North could engage in more provocative acts as it made a veiled threat in January to lift its yearslong self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and ICBM tests.

U-2S spy plan lands at the U.S. Forces Korea's Osan Air base, south of Seoul, on March 10, 2022. (Yonhap)

ejkim@yna.co.kr
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