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Summary of external news of North Korea this week

All News 16:00 September 16, 2022

SEOUL, Sept. 16 (Yonhap) -- The following is a summary of external news of North Korea this week.

S. Korean, U.S. officials discuss missile defense capabilities against N. Korea

WASHINGTON/SEOUL -- South Korea's foreign and defense vice ministers visited the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) in Virginia on Wednesday (local time) and had discussions on the allies' deterrence strategy against North Korea's evolving threats, according to their ministries.

First Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun-dong and Vice Defense Minister Shin Beom-chul were in the United States for the first Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group (EDSCG) session of the allies in four years and eight months. The meeting is slated for Friday.

FM has phone conversation with IAEA chief, discusses N. Korean nukes

SEOUL -- South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin on Wednesday had a phone conversation with the chief of the U.N. nuclear watchdog and discussed pending issues, including North Korea's nuclear ambitions, Seoul officials said.

During the talks with Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Park raised the need for the international community to send an "unequivocal" message to North Korea over its nuclear threats, according to the foreign ministry.

(LEAD) S. Korea, U.S. to discuss 'concrete' deterrence steps against N.K. threats in this week's talks: official

WASHINGTON/SEOUL -- South Korea and the United States will discuss "concrete" steps to sharpen deterrence against North Korea's evolving military threats during their high-level security talks later this week, according to a senior Seoul official Tuesday.

Vice Defense Minister Shin Beom-chul made the remarks upon arriving at Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C., to attend a session of the Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group (EDSCG) slated for Friday (local time).

N. Korea continuing to run uranium enrichment facility at Yongbyon site: IAEA

GENEVA -- The chief of the U.N. nuclear watchdog said Monday there are signs that North Korea is operating the Yongbyon nuclear complex's uranium enrichment facility while carrying out construction work there.

Rafael Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), made the remarks amid speculation that North Korea appears to be preparing for what would be its first nuclear test since 2017.

U.N. ambassador stresses need for S. Korea to co-sponsor resolution on N.K. human rights

NEW YORK -- South Korea should co-sponsor an annual resolution condemning North Korea for its human rights abuses and urging the regime to improve the situation, Seoul's new ambassador to the United Nations said.

Ambassador Hwang Joon-kook made the remark in an interview with Yonhap News Agency on Sunday, stressing that North Korean human rights is a "very important issue in terms of safeguarding universal values."

N. Korea likely to skip this year's table tennis world championships: report

SEOUL -- North Korea appears to have withdrawn its women's table tennis team from this year's world championships slated for later this month in the Chinese city of Chengdu, according to a U.S. broadcaster.

Pyongyang was not included in the final list of teams vying for the 2022 World Champions Title sent to the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) on Friday, according to Radio Free Asia (RFA).

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