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(LEAD) Top S. Korean, U.S. diplomats condemn N.K missile launches in phone talks

North Korea 14:22 May 25, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with more details in last 4 paras; ADDS photo, byline)
By Kim Eun-jung

SEOUL, May 25 (Yonhap) -- The top diplomats of South Korea and the United States strongly condemned North Korea's latest missile launches in their phone talks Wednesday, according to Seoul's foreign ministry.

Foreign Minister Park Jin and his American counterpart Antony Blinken agreed to cooperate closely in a push for a new U.N. Security Council resolution against Pyongyang, as they called the North's move a "grave provocation" that only leads to its isolation and threatens regional peace and stability, it added.

It remains unclear whether the U.N. panel will adopt additional sanctions on Pyongyang, which many say depends primarily on the positions of the veto-wielding permanent members of China and Russia.

Earlier in the day, the North lobbed an apparent intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and two other ballistic ones into the East Sea, the South's military said.

Foreign Minister Park Jin speaks during a meeting with senior officials on North Korea's missile launch at the ministry's headquarters in Seoul on May 25, 2022. (Yonhap)

Park and Blinken shared the same view that it is "very regrettable" that the Kim Jong-un regime is diverting its scare resources to its nuclear and missile programs while the nation's people are suffering from the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the ministry.

They also noted that the weekend summit between South Korea and the U.S. served as a "milestone" for upgrading their alliance into a "global comprehensive strategic partnership," and agreed to have follow-up discussions when Park visits the U.S. soon, it added.

Arrangements are under way for Park's visit to Washington next month, according to informed sources.

On Wednesday, Kim Gunn, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, had back-to-back phone calls with his American and Japanese counterparts, Sung Kim and Takehiro Funakoshi, respectively, to discuss the North's missile launch and joint responses, the ministry said in separate statements.


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