Top nuke envoys of S. Korea, U.S., Japan denounce N. Korea's SRBM launches
SEOUL, Dec. 31 (Yonhap) -- The top nuclear envoys of South Korea, the United States and Japan denounced North Korea's firing of three short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) Saturday morning, warning of a stern response from the international community.
Kim Gunn, Seoul's special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, and his U.S. and Japanese counterparts, Sung Kim and Takehiro Funakoshi, respectively, talked over the phone after Pyongyang's missile launch, according to South Korea's foreign ministry.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said it detected the launches from Chunghwa County, just south of Pyongyang, from 8 a.m. and that the missiles traveled some 350 kilometers before splashing into the East Sea.
The launches came a day after South Korea conducted a test flight of a homegrown solid-propellant space rocket.
The nuclear envoys warned the North that its tactic to conduct military provocations routinely will not be successful, and the international community will sternly respond to any actions violating the United Nations Security Council resolutions, according to the ministry.
The ministry said the envoys agreed to strengthen the trilateral security cooperation against North Korea and readiness posture for additional provocations.
The envoys also agreed to increase communication with China, which plays a crucial role in containing Pyongyang's military actions.
North Korea launched around 70 ballistic missiles this year alone, marking a single-year record. Earlier this week, North Korean drones also intruded into South Korea's airspace, escalating tensions in the region.
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