U.S. still prepared to engage with DPRK after missile test

The United States remains prepared to engage with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), a White House spokesperson said on Monday, despite Pyongyang's announcement that it had tested a new long-range cruise missile over the weekend.

"Our position has not changed when it comes to North Korea (DPRK); we remain prepared to engage," principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.

DPRK state media announced on Monday what it said were successful tests of a new long-range cruise missile.

Korean Central News Agency said the missiles, which flew 1,500 kilometers before hitting their targets and falling into the country's territorial waters during the tests on Saturday and Sunday, were "a strategic weapon of great significance."  

The U.S. military's Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) said the activity highlighted Pyongyang's "continuing focus on developing its military program and the threats that poses to its neighbors and the international community."

Commenting at the United Nations in New York, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters, "We've seen these reports, and I think it's yet another reminder that diplomatic engagement is the only way to reach sustainable peace and complete and verifiable denuclearization on the (Korean) Peninsula."

Chief nuclear negotiators from the United States, South Korea and Japan are due to meet this week in Tokyo to explore how to resume efforts to persuade the DPRK to give up its nuclear weapons.

Source(s): Reuters

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