Washington, Seoul and Tokyo condemn North Korean missile launches

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, South Korean Foreign Minister Pak Chin and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi condemned North Korea's latest missile launches in a joint statement, emphasizing readiness for contacts with Pyongyang without preconditions. The statement of representatives of the diplomatic departments is published on the website of the US State Department.

“The United States, the Republic of Korea and Japan strongly condemn the recent launches of ballistic missiles by the DPRK, undertake to strengthen trilateral cooperation for the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the full implementation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions, and also emphasize the continued openness to meetings with the DPRK without preconditions,— says the statement.

In addition, representatives of the diplomatic departments of the three countries expressed concern about the “serious difficulties” North Korea due to the COVID-19 pandemic and were reminded of the offer of assistance in this regard.

Seoul said on May 25 that North Korea had fired an unidentified ballistic missile eastward, marking the 17th missile launch from North Korean territory, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said. The Japanese Ministry of Defense clarified that the missile fell into the sea. NHK sources in the Japanese government noted that this happened outside the country's exclusive economic zone.

In Japan, the North Korean missile launches were called a provocation and protested through diplomatic channels. Tokyo believes that in this way the DPRK expressed its attitude towards the visit of US President Joe Biden to Japan.

The South Korean authorities, in response to the launches of the DPRK, conducted missile tests together with the United States. According to Yonhap, South Korea launched a Hyunmu-2 rocket, and the US — one ATACMS projectile towards the Sea of ​​Japan. In this way, the Allies demonstrated the ability to “immediately strike” from the allied forces.

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