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Seoul and Washington agree to cooperate on N. Korean threat Updated: 2021-03-28 08:56:40 KST

Defense officials from Seoul and Washington spoke on the phone Friday about North Korea's recent missile launches.
The two sides said those launches are a threat to the region and beyond.
North Korea, though, says the recent criticism from the Biden administration represents a "wrong first step."
Our Jang Tae-hyun reports.
National defense authorities from South Korea and the U.S. have agreed to cooperate to counter North Korean threats.
The South Korean defense ministry's director of North Korea policy Cho Yong-geun, and acting assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific affairs David Helvey, held telephone talks on Friday, a day after the North launched two short-range ballistic missiles.
The two countries have expressed deep concerns and discussed ways to respond to this issue.
Both sides emphasized that the North's ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs pose a threat to the peace and stability of Northeast Asia and beyond.
They agreed to cooperate to encourage North Korea to refrain from provocative and threatening acts and abide by their international obligations.
South Korea and the U.S. also reaffirmed the importance of trilateral cooperation involving Japan to effectively deter and respond to Pyeongyang's threats.
In the meantime, North Korea said Saturday that the Biden administration had taken a "wrong first step" by criticizing its recent missile launches.
In a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency, Ri Pyong-chol, secretary of the Central Committee of the Worker's Party said, the missile tests were self-defense against the threat posed by the joint military exercises between South Korea and the U.S.
He then expressed deep apprehension over the U.S. chief executive criticizing the regular missile launch tests adding that Biden has revealed "deep-seated hostility" against the regime.
This comes after North Korea said on Thursday that it had launched a new type of tactical short-range ballistic missile.
Sources say five European countries who are members of the U.N. Security Council, including the U.K. and France, have called for a closed meeting next Tuesday to discuss the North's latest missile launch.
Jang Tae-hyun, Arirang News.
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