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US 'strongly condemns' North Korea's firing of missile ahead of South Korea-Japan summit

US 'strongly condemns' North Korea's firing of missile ahead of South Korea-Japan summit
'This launch needlessly raises tensions, risks destabilizing security situation in region,' says White House

By Rabia İclal Turan

WASHINGTON (AA) - The US on Wednesday "strongly" condemned North Korea’s firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) hours before the leaders of South Korea and Japan were set to meet at a summit in Tokyo.

"While U.S. INDOPACOM has assessed it did not pose an immediate threat to U.S. personnel, or territory, or to our allies, this launch needlessly raises tensions and risks destabilizing the security situation in the region," White House National Security Council spokesman Adrienne Watson said in a statement.

"It only demonstrates that the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) continues to prioritize its unlawful weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs over the well-being of its people," she said.

Urging "all countries" to condemn North Korea's violations, she said: "The national security team is closely coordinating with our allies and partners."

She stressed that the US will take "all necessary measures" to ensure the security of the American homeland, Republic of Korea and Japanese allies.

North Korea earlier confirmed the launch of two ground-to-ground missiles by a sub-military unit during exercises amid tensions on the Korean peninsula, state-run media reported Wednesday.

Two ground-to-ground missiles in a medium-range system were fired Tuesday in an area around Jangyon County in South Hwanghae Province which precisely hit their target, Phi Islet, in waters off Pangjin-dong, Chongam District, Chongjin City of North Hamgyong Province, the Korean Central News Agency reported.

The latest missile launch came a day after the US and South Korea began their major Freedom Shield exercises, which started on Monday and will last for at least 10 days.

North Korea's move came hours before South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol headed to Tokyo to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in the first such visit of a South Korean president in 12 years.

source: News Feed
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