S. Korea, U.S., Japan vow to sternly deal with N.K. provocations

SEOUL-- Top nuclear envoys of South Korea, the United States and Japan strongly condemned North Korea's latest missile test Monday, vowing to maintain close cooperation and seek stern action against Pyongyang's "reckless" and "continued" provocations, the foreign ministry said.

Kim Hong-kyun, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs at the foreign ministry, discussed the North's missile test conducted early in the day in separate telephone conversations with his U.S. and Japanese counterparts -- Joseph Yun and Kenji Kanasugi, respectively.

"The envoys of the three countries shared the view that the North's yet another provocation following ones conducted on May 14 and May 21 is an act that runs squarely counter to the denuclearization and peace on the Korean Peninsula, and they strongly condemned it," the ministry said.

"In addition, they agreed to take stern action against the North's reckless and continued provocations, including seeking measures at the U.N. Security Council based on close coordination among the three countries," it added.

The North fired "at least one" short-range ballistic missile from its eastern coast early Monday morning. The missile presumed to be a Scud type was launched eastward from near Wonsan before landing in the East Sea.

Monday's test marked the ninth missile provocation this year alone and the third of its kind since the inauguration of South Korean President Moon Jae-in on May 10.

The latest provocation came amid growing calls for stepped-up sanctions against the North apparently bent on honing its missile and nuclear capabilities.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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