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US, South Korea, Japan hold trilateral meeting in Washington

Meeting aimed at reducing tensions on Korean peninsula, says State Dept after North Korea fires ballistic missile

Michael Hernandez   | 19.10.2021
US, South Korea, Japan hold trilateral meeting in Washington

WASHINGTON

Senior officials from the US, South Korea and Japan convened in the US capital Tuesday in a bid to reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula, according to the State Department.

The meeting was attended by US Special Representative for North Korea Sung Kim, senior Japanese Foreign Ministry official Funakoshi Takehiro and South Korean Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace Noh Kyu-duk.

The officials "held detailed discussions on the current situation on the Korean Peninsula and reaffirmed their commitment to working trilaterally to reduce tensions and make progress toward the shared goal of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," the State Department said in a statement.

The meeting comes after Seoul and Tokyo announced that North Korea fired at least one ballistic missile into waters near Japan's coast early Tuesday.

Following the eighth known test by the sanctions-hit nation this year, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said the missile was launched eastward from a site in the vicinity of Sinpo in the Southern Hamgyong province, the Seoul-based Yonhap News reported.

In Tokyo, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida also confirmed that Pyongyang had "fired two ballistic missiles with no reports of casualties or damage." Japanese authorities are analyzing whether the projectile could have been launched via a submarine.

Last month, North Korea fired a hypersonic missile, called the Hwasong-8.

During their meeting Tuesday, Kim "emphasized U.S. condemnation of the DPRK’s October 19 ballistic missile launch, which violates multiple UN Security Council resolutions, and called on the DPRK to refrain from further provocations and engage in sustained and substantive dialogue," said the State Department.

"He further reiterated Washington’s ironclad commitment to its allies, the ROK and Japan. Special Representative Kim expressed support for humanitarian aid for the most vulnerable North Koreans and affirmed U.S. commitment to the immediate resolution of the abductions issue," it added.

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