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Japan, US express 'serious concern' over North Korea missile tests

The top diplomats of Japan and the US on Wednesday expressed “serious concern” over missile tests carried out by North Korea.

The allies agreed that “such activities pose a threat to the peace and stability of Japan, the region and the international community,” Japan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement after an approximately 35-minute phone call between Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The two “concurred to continue close coordination between Japan and the US as well as among Japan, the US, and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) toward the complete denuclearization of North Korea in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions,” the statement said.

North Korea has so far carried out seven confirmed missile tests this year, including that of a newly developed hypersonic missile.

Pyongyang has warned it will continue to develop powerful warheads for different combat missions as it ramps up tests to strengthen defenses against what it claims is a “hostile” US.

“In light of the increasingly severe regional security environment,” the statement said, the top diplomats agreed it was “essential to strengthen the deterrence and response capabilities of the Japan-US Alliance and to continue close coordination between Japan and the US.”

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