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Senior defense officials from S. Korea, U.S., Japan discuss N.K. missile launches

SEOUL-- Senior defense officials from South Korea, the United States and Japan on Friday discussed a series of missile launches by North Korea and vowed to work closely to respond to its threats, Seoul's defense ministry said.

During the trilateral phone talks, Deputy Defense Minister Kim Man-ki, Ely Ratner, the U.S. assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, and Kazuo Masuda from the Japanese defense ministry shared their assessment on the security situation on the Korean Peninsula and in the region, including the North's recent missile firings, according to the ministry.

"The three sides agreed to cooperate closely with each other on their responses to those issues in the future," the ministry said in a release.

North Korea has ratcheted up tensions in recent weeks by unveiling new types of weapons, while rejecting dialogue offers by the Joe Biden administration.

Earlier in the day, the communist country said it test-fired an advanced anti-aircraft missile, days after firing a hypersonic missile for the first time. Two weeks earlier, it fired two short-range ballistic missiles from a train and launched a long-range cruise missile, according to the South Korean military.

Denuclearization talks between the U.S. and North Korea have stalled since 2019.

Source: Yonhap news Agency

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