Japan, U.S., S. Korea slam N. Korea’s missile launches in statement

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks at a politburo meeting of the Worker’s Party of Korea on the country’s COVID-19 outbreak response in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency on May 21.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Japanese, U.S. and South Korean foreign chiefs on Saturday released a joint statement strongly condemning North Korea’s recent ballistic missile launches.

The foreign ministers said they “deeply regret” that the U.N. Security Council failed to adopt a resolution this week to toughen sanctions against the North Korean regime.

The three nations “commit to strengthen trilateral cooperation towards the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” they also said in the statement.

The foreign chiefs expressed “deep concern” about Pyongyang’s firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile and shorter-range ballistic missiles on Wednesday, and agreed to ensure regional security through Japan-U.S. and U.S.-South Korea defense exercises.

At the same time, they voiced “continued openness to meeting with the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) without preconditions,” referring to the official name of North Korea.

The foreign ministers also expressed deep concern about the COVID-19 situation in North Korea, noting that its regime will hopefully “respond positively to international offers of assistance.”