U.S., S. Korea, Japan hold talks on N. Korean missile threats: Pentagon

WASHINGTON, Defense officials from South Korea, Japan and the United States held talks Friday to discuss North Korea's nuclear and missile threats, the U.S. Department of Defense said.

The trilateral talks follow a series of missile launches by North Korea that Pyongyang claims to have included the test firing of a new hypersonic gliding missile.

The talks involved Kim Man-gi, deputy minister of defense for defense policy of South Korea, Kazuo Masuda, director-general for defense policy of Japan, and Ely Ratner, U.S. assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, according to the Pentagon.

They "engaged in consultations on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) nuclear and missile threat, regional security, and substantive ways to strengthen trilateral security cooperation," it said in a press release, referring to North Korea by its official name.

North Korea launched what it claims to be a newly developed hypersonic missile on Tuesday (Seoul time), about two weeks after it test fired a new short-range ballistic missile, both of which have been condemned by the U.S. as violations of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Pyongyang is prohibited from testing or launching any ballistic missiles or other weapons of mass destruction such as nuclear devices under U.N. Security Council resolutions.

The North said it test fired a new anti-aircraft missile on Thursday (Seoul time).

The defense officials from the U.S. and two of America's closest Asian allies reaffirmed their cooperation in dealing with the recalcitrant North.

"The representatives reaffirmed the importance of trilateral security cooperation and committed to explore high-level exchanges, including a Trilateral Defense Ministerial, on a date to be mutually determined in the future," said the press release.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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