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(LEAD) NSC expresses 'strong regret' over N. Korea's latest missile launch

18:15 January 14, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with statement in first 6 paras; CHANGES headline)

SEOUL, Jan. 14 (Yonhap) -- The presidential National Security Council (NSC) voiced "strong regret" Friday after North Korea fired two suspected ballistic missiles eastward in its third show of force this month.

The council held an emergency meeting shortly after South Korea's military announced that the North fired two suspected ballistic missiles into the East Sea.

"The standing members of the NSC again expressed strong regret over North Korea's repeated test-launch of missiles," Cheong Wa Dae said in a statement.

In contrast with its reactions over the North's two launches of suspected ballistic missiles this month, the NSC characterized Friday's launch as a "missile."

The NSC members noted that North Korea's tests of weapons were not helpful to stabilize the situation on the Korean Peninsula and renewed calls for Pyongyang to return to dialogue, according to the statement.

South Korea and the United States have been in cooperation to analyze various intelligence about North Korea's test of weapons, a senior presidential official said.

The North's latest saber-rattling marked its third show of force this year.

North Korea fired what it claims to be hypersonic missiles on Jan. 5 and Tuesday, in an apparent quest for new advanced weapons amid a deadlock in nuclear talks with the United States.

After Tuesday's test, the United States imposed sanctions on individuals linked to North Korea's ballistic weapons program.

Earlier in the day. Pyongyang vowed "stronger" actions against the U.S. sanctions.

Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul (Yonhap)

kdh@yna.co.kr
(END)

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