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Blinken reaffirms commitments to Japan, S.Korea, condemns N.Korean missile launch

hwasong 18 icbm test launch
Hwasong-18 intercontinental ballistic missile is launched from an undisclosed location in North Korea in this image released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency on July 13, 2023. KCNA via REUTERS

North Korea’s firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Wednesday violates multiple U.N. resolutions and threatens peace and stability in the region, the United States, South Korea, and Japan said in a joint statement condemning the launch.

The missile, fired off N.Korea’s east coast, flew for 74 minutes to an altitude of 6,000 km (3,728 miles) and a range of 1,000 km, according to Japan, in what would be the longest-ever flight time for a North Korean missile.

“This constitutes a clear, flagrant violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions and poses a grave threat to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and beyond,” the top foreign officials of U.S., S.Korea, and Japan said in the joint statement released on Friday.

The countries urged N.Korea “to cease its unlawful and escalatory actions and promptly return to dialogue,” according to the statement.

The officials – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Foreign Minister Park Jin of S.Korea – met on the sidelines on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum in Jakarta, Indonesia on Friday.

Blinken reaffirmed the United States’ “ironclad commitments” to the defense of Japan and South Korea in that meeting, according to a separate statement from the U.S. State Department.

N.Korea’s “continued development of its nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities will only bolster the resolve of the three countries and the international community to achieve the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” the joint statementreleased after the meeting said.

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