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US, Japan officials agree to work with S Korea on N Korea's issue


ANI Asia
The US and Japan have agreed to work with South Korea on the issue concerning North Korea, hours after the Pyongyang test-fired ballistic missiles.
The Director-General of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, Shigeki Takizaki, and the US Special Representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun spoke over the phone on Thursday night, NHK news reported.
Takizaki emphasized that the North's repeated ballistic missile launches are a serious challenge to Japan, as well as to the international community.
The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said that Pyongyang had fired two short-range projectiles into the Sea of Japan using what appeared to be a super-large multiple rocket launcher.
The two missiles flew around 380 kilometres at an altitude of 97 kilometres.
Pyongyang is banned from firing ballistic missiles under the United Nations Security Council resolutions.
According to the KCNA, Thursday's launch was aimed at checking combat applicability of the super-large multiple rocket launcher. Apart from North Korea leader Kim Jong-un, the launch was observed by high-ranked officials from the Workers' Party of North Korea and the country's top military officials.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the launch by N. Korea was latest in a series of violation of the resolution. "North Korea's repeated launches of ballistic missiles are serious defiance to not only our country but also the international community," he told reporters in Tokyo.
Kim has set an end-year deadline to kick-start the talks with Washington, but negotiations remain at a stalemate after a working-level meeting last month broke down.
North Korea has demanded sanctions to be lifted and warned it could take a "new path," raising concerns it may resume nuclear and long-range missile testing which has been suspended since 2017.
The nuclear negotiations between the US and North Korea have been at a standstill since the Hanoi summit between President Donald Trump and leader Kim broke up in February, and Pyongyang has since demanded Washington change its approach by the end of the year.

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First Published: Nov 29 2019 | 10:17 AM IST

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