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ConflictsNorth Korea

South Korea, US, Japan condemn North Korea missile tests

June 8, 2022

In a three-way meeting with diplomats from South Korea and Japan, the United States emphasized on allied cooperation amid threats from North Korea. Germany also condemned the tests as a violation of international law.

A TV screen showing a news program reporting about Sunday's North Korean missile launch with file image, is seen at a train station in Seoul.
North Korea on Sunday test launched eight ballistic missiles from multiple locations into the seaImage: Lee Jin-man/AP Photo/picture alliance

In a joint statement, senior diplomatic officials from the United States, South Korea and Japan have denounced North Korea's recent missile tests, calling them "serious, unlawful" provocations.

The comments came after a top-level meeting in Seoul on Wednesday between US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and her South Korean and Japanese counterparts, Cho Hyun-dong and Takeo Mori.

The statement said Sherman reaffirmed "steadfast'' US commitments to the defense of South Korea and Japan, including "extended deterrence,'' referring to an assurance to defend its allies with complete military capabilities, including nuclear.

"The United States, the Republic of Korea and Japan are fully and closely aligned on the DPRK,'' Sherman said at a press conference, using the initials of North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The diplomats of the three countries also urged North Korea to return to dialogue and accept offers of COVID-19 aid.

"They stressed that a path to serious and sustained dialogue remains open and urged the DPRK to return to negotiations, while also expressing their hope that the DPRK will respond positively to international offers of assistance to fight against COVID-19," the statement said.

Berlin urges N. Korea to 'forgo further tests'

Germany also condemned the tests, saying that — in addition to jeopardizing international security — they were also a posing a danger for international air and naval traffic.

"The German government strongly urges North Korea once again to forgo further tests... and to enter a dialogue about complete, irreversible and verifiable termination of its programs of developing mass destruction weapons and ballistic missiles," the European country's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Berlin described the tests as breaking existing UN resolutions and international law.

Tensions as nuclear test looms

Sherman's Asia tour came just days after Pyongyang launched eight ballistic missiles from multiple locations into the sea in what has been called North Korea's biggest-ever single-day test launch event.

Following the test fires, the US and its allies in Asia responded with missile launches and aerial demonstrations involving dozens of fighter jets in a tit-for-tat show of force.

Wednesday's joint statement also comes at a time when Pyongyang is reportedly making preparations for its first nuclear test explosion since 2017.

Officials in Washington have said the test could take place in the coming days.

dj, dvv/fb (AP, Reuters)