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U.S. condemns N. Korean missile launches, remains open to dialogue: State Dept.

All News 00:45 May 13, 2022

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, May 12 (Yonhap) -- The United States condemns North Korea's latest missile launches but remains committed to engage with Pyongyang in dialogue, a state department spokesperson said Thursday.

North Korea fired three short-range ballistic missiles on Thursday (Seoul time), marking its 16th show of force this year.

"The United States condemns the DPRK's ballistic missile launches," the department spokesperson said, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"These launches, like the others conducted in recent weeks, are in violation of multiple U.N. Security Council Resolutions and pose a threat to the DPRK's neighbors and the international community," the official added, asking not to be identified.

A news report on North Korea's short-range ballistic missile launch is aired on a TV screen at Seoul Station in Seoul on May 7, 2022. (Yonhap)

The official reaffirmed the U.S.' commitment to dialogue.

"We remain committed to a diplomatic approach to the DPRK and call on them to engage in dialogue. Our commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea and Japan remains ironclad."

North Korea has avoided talks with the U.S. since late 2019. It has also ignored all U.S. overtures since the Joe Biden administration took office in January 2021.

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said the launches did not pose an immediate threat to the U.S. or its allies but that it poses a threat to the stability in the region.

"While we have assessed that this event does not pose an immediate threat to U.S. personnel or territory, or to our allies, the missile launch highlights the destabilizing impact of the DPRK's illicit weapons program," it said in a released statement.

"The U.S. commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea and Japan remains ironclad," it added.

The latest North Korean missile launches come two days after South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol took office.

Biden is scheduled to travel to Seoul next week for a summit with Yoon, followed by a visit to Tokyo for talks with his Japanese counterpart and a Quad summit that will also be attended by the leaders of Australia, India and Japan.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki earlier said the North Korean issue will be at "the front and center" of Biden's discussions with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts.

The U.S. believes Pyongyang is also preparing to conduct a nuclear test as early as this month, which would mark the country's seventh nuclear test if conducted. The North conducted its last nuclear test in September 2017.


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