By Byun Duk-kun
WASHINGTON, May 25 (Yonhap) -- U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan reaffirmed his country's "steadfast commitment" to the defense of South Korea in a call with his South Korean counterpart to discuss North Korea's latest missile launches, the White House said.
Sullivan and South Korean National Security Adviser Kim Sung-han also condemned North Korea's missile launches as destabilizing acts.
"They both condemned the DPRK's destabilizing ballistic missile tests and committed to continue building on their close coordination," the White House said of the call in a press release, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
"Mr. Sullivan also reaffirmed the United States' steadfast commitment to the defense of the ROK," it added.
ROK stands for the Republic of Korea, South Korea's official name.
The call came after North Korea fired three ballistic missiles early Wednesday (Seoul time), including a suspected intercontinental ballistic missile.
The missile launches marked North Korea's 17th show of force this year, which also came three days after U.S. President Joe Biden concluded his three-day visit to Seoul.
A State Department spokesperson earlier said the missile launches were a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, urging the North to refrain from further provocations.
Officials in Seoul, however, have said the North may be gauging the timing for what would be its seventh nuclear test, noting the country appears to have completed all preparations for a test.
North Korea last conducted a nuclear test in September 2017.
State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the U.S. shared the concern about a potential nuclear test by the North when asked.
"We share the concern that North Korea may be on the verge of another provocation," he said in a daily press briefing earlier Tuesday. "Our concern for another potential provocation, be it an ICBM launch, be it a potential seventh nuclear weapons test, our concern has not abated in any way."
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