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US, S.Korea, Japan condemn N.Korea’s latest missile ‘provocation’

The top national security advisers of the US, South Korea, and Japan condemned North Korea’s missile launches on Thursday, calling them “clear violations” of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions.

They also vowed stepped up efforts to promote peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region, Yonhap news agency reported, citing a joint statement released by the White House.

“The United States, Japan, and the Republic of Korea condemn today’s DPRK missile launches,” said the released statement, referring to South Korea by its official name.

“These launches are clear violations of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions, and demonstrate the threat the DPRK’s unlawful weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs pose to the region, international peace and security, and the global non-proliferation regime,” it added.

DPRK stands for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the North’s official name.

The joint condemnation came hours after Pyongyang fired two short-range ballistic missiles, following its failed attempt to launch what it claimed to be a military reconnaissance satellite on May 31.

The security advisers stressed the need “for all countries to fully implement DPRK-related UN Security Council resolutions that are intended to prohibit the DPRK from acquiring the technologies and materials needed to carry out these destabilising launches.”

“The United States reaffirms unequivocally its ironclad security commitments to both Japan and the ROK,” they added.

The joint statement came as US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan met with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts — Cho Tae-yong and Takeo Akiba, respectively — in Tokyo for trilateral talks that largely focused on the threat posed by North Korea.

Pyongyang said it will try again to launch a space launch vehicle carrying its first military spy satellite.

The country is prohibited from acquiring or using any ballistic missile technology, including space launch vehicles, under UN Security Council resolutions.

The national security advisers urged North Korea to engage in diplomacy, saying trilateral cooperation between South Korea, Japan and the US will “not be shaken by provocations”.

Later, a state department spokesperson echoed criticism of North Korea’s latest missile provocation.

“They demonstrate the threat the DPRK’s unlawful weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs pose to the region, to international peace and security and to the global nonproliferation regime,” department spokesperson Matthew Miller told a daily press briefing.

In a related move, the US imposed sanctions on two China-based North Korean nationals earlier in the day for working to procure materials and funds for North Korea’s illegal weapons development programmes.

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