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(LEAD) Biden condemns N. Korea's missile launch: White House

03:26 October 05, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with remarks from a White House spokesperson in paras 10-12; ADDS photos)
By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, Oct. 4 (Yonhap) -- U.S. President Joe Biden strongly condemned North Korea's firing of a long-range ballistic missile in a call with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, the White House said Tuesday.

The call came after the North launched an intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM) over Japanese territory on Tuesday (Seoul time).

"The leaders jointly condemned the DPRK's missile test in the strongest terms, recognizing the launch as a danger to the Japanese people, destabilizing to the region, and a clear violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions," the White House said of the Biden-Kishida call in a press release.

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

This file photo, taken June 29, 2022, shows South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol (L), U.S. President Joe Biden (C) and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida holding a trilateral summit in Madrid. (Yonhap)

"They confirmed they would continue to closely coordinate their immediate and longer-term response bilaterally, trilaterally with the Republic of Korea, and with the international community," the White House said, referring to South Korea by its official name.

"The leaders discussed the importance of immediate return and resolution of the cases of Japanese citizens abducted by the DPRK and resolved to continue every effort to limit the DPRK's ability to support its unlawful ballistic missile and weapons of mass destruction programs," it added.

The Biden-Kishida conversation followed a series of phone calls between U.S., South Korean and Japanese officials, including the countries' top diplomats and national security advisers.

The White House earlier said National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan discussed "appropriate and robust" international responses to North Korea's missile launches in his separate talks with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts.

Reuters later reported the U.S. plans to call for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council to be held on Wednesday to discuss the North's missile provocation.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre is seen answering questions in a daily press briefing in Washington on Oct. 4, 2022 in this image captured from the White House' website. (Yonhap)

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the U.S. remains open to dialogue with North Korea, adding the missile tests underscore the "urgent need for dialogue and diplomacy."

"Our goal remains the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. We remain prepared to engage in serious and sustained diplomacy to make tangible progress towards that end, and we remain prepared to meet with the DPRK without preconditions," she said in a press briefing.

"It's unfortunate that the DPRK has not responded to our outreach," she added.

Tuesday's North Korean missile launch marked the fifth of its kind in just over a week.

Pyongyang has fired nearly 40 ballistic missiles this year, the largest number of ballistic missiles launched in a year.

bdk@yna.co.kr
(END)

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