Guterres calls for talks toward denuclearization of Korean Peninsula

by IANS |

United Nations, Jan 18 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for diplomatic talks between North Korea and all parties concerned toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, his spokesman said.

North Korea reportedly fired two short-range projectiles into eastern waters on Monday, the fourth launch in less than two weeks, reports Xinhua news agency.

"There haven't been that many periods, I think, in recent time where we have seen so many launches from North Korea," said Stephane Dujarric, Guterres' spokesman.

"And for us, it is just another reminder of the need for North Korea and all the parties engaged to involve themselves, engage themselves in diplomatic talks so we can get what the UN would like to see, which is a very verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and, in the more immediate term, a lowering of tensions."

Asked whether Guterres should reach out to Pyongyang, the spokesman suggested the existing mechanisms be used.

"I think there are existing mechanisms and existing lines of communications. And I think, at this point, these should be used, and the secretary-general is very supportive of those diplomatic frameworks that already exist. But they need to be used," said Dujarric.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Monday that the military detected two projectiles, presumed to be short-range ballistic missiles, which were launched from North Korea's Sunan airfield in Pyongyang.

Pyongyang's Korean Central News Agency said last week that the country's railway-borne missile regiment test-fired two tactical guided missiles on January 15.

The country had also announced that it successfully test-launched a hypersonic missile on January 5 and a missile of the same kind on January 11.

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