S. Korean, U.S., Japanese nuclear envoys condemn N.K.'s artillery firing, missile test
SEOUL, Oct. 14 (Yonhap) -- Top South Korean, U.S. and Japanese nuclear envoys expressed deep concerns over North Korea's latest barrage of military provocations during their phone talks Friday, according to Seoul's foreign ministry.
Kim Gunn, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, and his American counterpart, Sung Kim, strongly condemned Pyongyang's short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) launch and artillery firings into maritime "buffer zones" earlier in the day.
The North also flew more than 10 warplanes close to the border with the South, prompting the South Korean Air Force to scramble its F-35A stealth fighters and other assets to the scene.
Kim stressed that the artillery shots constitute a "clear" violation of an inter-Korean military accord signed in September 2018 to reduce military tensions.
The South Korean envoy also held separate phone talks with his Japanese counterpart Takehiro Funakoshi.
The three officials voiced "deep concerns" over the North's provocations and "strongly" denounced the latest salvo of missiles and artillery shots as a clear violation of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions, the ministry said.
They also vowed to step up bilateral and trilateral cooperation to respond sternly against the North's nuclear and missile threats, it added.
North Korea has been sharply ratcheting up tensions on the peninsula in recent weeks amid growing concerns it may soon conduct another nuclear test.
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