Vice President Kamala Harris held an emergency meeting with world leaders after North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile Friday with the capacity to strike the U.S. mainland.
The launch is part of a series of North Korean missile tests in recent months, this time landing near Japanese waters. Some experts say it involved the country’s longest-range missile, according to The Associated Press.
In the hours after the launch, Harris held a meeting with leaders from Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, calling North Korea’s actions a “brazen violation of multiple UN security resolutions.”
The leaders expressed their concerns about the increasing frequency of North Korea’s missile launches. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida warning that “there is the possibility that North Korea will launch further missiles.”
Harris said the U.S. “strongly” condemns the missile launch, and called on North Korea “to commit to serious and sustained diplomacy.”
Today in Bangkok, I convened leaders from Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada to condemn the DPRK’s ballistic missile launch and consult on next steps. I reaffirmed our ironclad commitment to our Indo-Pacific alliances. pic.twitter.com/T5agtriAJe
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) November 18, 2022
“I do want to particularly acknowledge the anxiety, the deep concern, the security threat … that increasing use of missiles poses to Japan and South Korea,” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.
President Joe Biden held a trilateral meeting with Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Sunday, expressing his commitment to countering North Korean aggression.
“For years, our countries have been engaged in a trilateral cooperation out of a shared concern for the — for the nuclear and missile threats North Korea poses to — to our people. And North Korea continues provocation — provocative behavior. This partnership is even more important than it’s ever been,” Biden said while speaking to the leaders in Cambodia.
Yoon said North Korea is “emboldened by its nuclear and missile capabilities” and “is attempting even more hostile and aggressive provocations.”
“Since I took office in May, North Korea has launched some 50 missiles to date,” he added. (RELATED: ‘Smash The Enemies’: North Korea Claims Missile Launches Were Practice For A South Korean Invasion)
North Korea has strengthened relations with Russia since the invasion of Ukraine, being one of the only countries to recognize the breakaway states in Eastern Ukraine.
In September, North Korea passed legislation allowing preemptive nuclear strikes if the state’s leadership or its nuclear command are in danger. The country would never give up its nuclear arsenal, even if it faced 100 years of sanctions, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said.