The United States on Wednesday condemned the firing of a suspected ballistic missile by North Korea and urged Pyongyang to sit down for talks.
“The launch is in violation of a number of UN Security Council resolutions and poses a threat to the DPRK’s neighbors and the international community,” a State Department spokesman said.
“We remain committed to a diplomatic approach with the DPRK and call on them to engage in dialogue,” he said.
The spokesman also said that the US commitment to the defense of both South Korea and Japan, the two treaty-bound allies, was “troubled”.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin are due to meet around Thursday for regular security talks with their Japanese counterparts.
They will be joined by the new US ambassador to Tokyo, Rahm Emanuel, the former mayor of Chicago, who was confirmed by the Senate despite protests.
President Joe Biden’s administration has repeatedly said it is open to talks with North Korea, which has mostly pursued a series of low-level projectile launches.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held three high-profile meetings with Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump, but the unusual personal diplomacy did not lead to a lasting settlement.
The South Korean military said the North had “considered ballistic missiles” to sea east of the peninsula from Jagang province, which borders China.
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