Meeting in Washington on Tuesday, chief nuclear envoys from South Korea, the U.S. and Japan expressed concerns over North Korea's latest launch of a short-range ballistic missile, which the regime have said is a new kind of SLBM, and urged for a return to dialogue as early as possible.
The meeting involved South Korean envoy Noh Kyu-duk and his U.S. and Japanese counterparts, Sung Kim and Takehiro Funakoshi.
Speaking to reporters, Noh said the three discussed the North's missile launch on Tuesday, adding it's critical to manage Korean peninsula affairs in a stable manner.
"We have agreed that stably managing Korean peninsula affairs is very important and agreed to continue close communication and coordination for the early resumption of the Korean peninsula peace process, while keeping a close eye on the situation."
In a readout, the U.S. State Department said Sung Kim emphasized the U.S.' condemnation of the missile launch, calling it a violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions.
It said Kim called on the North to refrain from further provocations and engage in dialogue.
At the same time, Kim expressed support for humanitarian aid for people in North Korea and affirmed the U.S.' commitment to resolving the Japanese abductee issue.
Senior officials reportedly expressed concerns that North Korea's series of missile launches might make efforts to engage with the regime more difficult.
But they added dialogue and diplomacy are still valid in resolving the issue.
When it comes to the Korean government's end-of-war declaration proposal, the officials said South Korea and the U.S. agree that it's useful as a means of resuming talks with North Korea, adding Washington is currently reviewing the proposal in depth.
South Korean and U.S. authorities are reportedly preparing an outline of the proposal in case the declaration is adopted.
Sung Kim plans to visit Seoul later this week for more talks on North Korea issues.
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News.