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U.S. condemns N. Korea's ballistic missile launch as threat to region

Diplomacy 14:05 November 17, 2022

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 (Yonhap) -- The United States on Wednesday condemned North Korea's latest ballistic missile launch, calling it a threat to the region and the international community.

A spokesperson for the State Department also reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to the security of South Korea, hours after Pyongyang fired a short-range ballistic missile into the East Sea, resuming its latest series of missile provocations after an eight-day hiatus.

"The United States condemns the DPRK's ballistic missile launch. This launch, like the others this year, is in violation of multiple United Nations Security Council Resolutions and poses a threat to the DPRK's neighbors and the international community," the spokesperson told Yonhap News Agency in an email, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"We remain committed to a diplomatic approach to the DPRK and call on the DPRK to engage in dialogue. Our commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea and Japan remains ironclad," the spokesperson added.

The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said the missile launch did not pose any immediate threat to the U.S. or its allies.

"While we have assessed that this event does not pose an immediate threat to U.S. personnel or territory, or to our allies, the missile launch highlights the destabilizing impact of the DPRK's unlawful WMD and ballistic missile programs," it said in a released statement.

The latest missile launch followed a statement issued by North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Sun-hui, who warned the North will take "fiercer" military actions if the U.S. strengthens its extended deterrence as President Joe Biden agreed to do in his bilateral summit with his South Korean counterpart, Yoon Suk-yeol, held on the sidelines of a regional summit in Cambodia.

Pyongyang has fired more than 50 ballistic missiles this year, the largest number of ballistic missiles launched in a single year.

Seoul and Washington have said the country may also be prepared to conduct a nuclear test "at any time."

North Korea conducted its sixth and last nuclear test in September 2017.




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