US condemns North Korea missile launch but calls for dialogue

An undated pair of images show a new type of long-range cruise missile being test-fired by North Korea.
An undated pair of images show a new type of long-range cruise missile being test-fired by North Korea. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States said on Wednesday (Sept 15) that North Korea violated UN Security Council resolutions by firing two ballistic missiles into the sea but reiterated its willingness to engage the nuclear-armed state.

"The United States condemns the DPRK's missile launch. This launch is in violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions and poses a threat to the DPRK's neighbours and other members of the international community," said a State Department spokesman, referring to the North by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

But the spokesman added: "We remain committed to a diplomatic approach to the DPRK and call on them to engage in dialogue."

US President Joe Biden's administration said in an April policy review on North Korea that the US was willing to engage Pyongyang.

But it also signalled it was looking more for a practical approach following the unusual personal diplomacy of former president Donald Trump, who met three times with the authoritarian state's young leader Kim Jong Un.

Mr Trump said he should have won the Nobel Peace Prize for preventing war, but North Korea never signed a permanent agreement to end its nuclear programme.

Pyongyang is under sweeping international sanctions over a series of nuclear and long-range ballistic missile tests.

The State Department spokesman said that US commitment to the defence of South Korea - which carried out its own submarine-launched ballistic missile test on Wednesday - and Japan "remains ironclad".