(LEAD) Senior diplomats of S. Korea, U.S., Japan hold phone talks over N.K. missile provocations
(ATTN: ADDS more details in last 4 paras)
SEOUL, Nov. 7 (Yonhap) -- Senior diplomats of South Korea, the United States and Japan strongly condemned North Korea's latest missile launches in their phone talks Monday, calling them a "serious threat" to the security of the Korean Peninsula and beyond, according to Seoul's foreign ministry.
Last week, the North launched a barrage of ballistic missiles into the East Sea and the Yellow Sea, including an intercontinental ballistic missile, apparently in protest against a South Korea-U.S. joint air force drill called "Vigilant Storm."
In their consultations, First Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun-dong and his American and Japanese counterparts -- Wendy Sherman and Takeo Mori, respectively -- pointed out the North's recent ballistic missile launches were in violation of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions, and posed a serious threat to the peace and stability of the peninsula and the international community as a whole, added the ministry.
The top nuclear envoys of the three regional powers also stressed the need for the international community to "sternly' deal with North Korea's latest provocations, according to the ministry.
Kim Gunn, South Korea's special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, discussed the issue during his group phone talks with his U.S. and Japanese counterparts -- Sung Kim and Takehiro Funakoshi.
The officials, in particular, raised the need for the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to be united in responding to the North's saber-rattling, as "silence" in the 15-member council appears to be prompting Pyongyang to stage its "reckless" provocations, it said.
The UNSC has been divided over how to deal with the North's barrage of weapons tests, with China and Russia opposing a U.S.-led move to impose additional sanctions on the North amid tensions between Washington and Beijing and Moscow's war with Ukraine.
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