US reaffirms security commitment to Seoul after N.Korean missile tests

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Seoul, Jan 15 (IANS) US Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned North Korea’s recent missile tests as a violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions and reaffirmed the “ironclad” security commitment to South Korea, the State Department said.

In a phone call with South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong, Blinken reaffirmed the bilateral alliance is “the linchpin of peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond”, Yonhap News Agency reported on Saturday citing the Department as saying

The phone conversation came shortly after Pyongyang said it fired two tactical guided missiles into the East Sea the previous day, the third missile test this month.

On Saturday, North Korea announced its railway-based missile regiment conducted a firing drill a day earlier, with two tactical guided missiles hitting a set target in the East Sea.

The North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported the unit in North Pyongan Province bordering China staged the drill aimed at “checking and judging the proficiency” in its action procedures.

The North’s latest saber-rattling came after it warned of a “stronger and certain reaction” to the US’ recent imposition of fresh sanctions on six North Koreans involved in the regime’s weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs.

Pyongyang fired what it purports to be a hypersonic missile on January 5 and Tuesday, in an apparent continued quest for the development of new advanced weapons amid a deadlock in nuclear talks with Washington.

–IANS

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