S. Korea, China, Japan vow to lead global efforts against N.K. provocations

The top diplomats of South Korea, China and Japan on Wednesday vowed to spearhead global efforts against North Korea's continued missile provocations as they held a trilateral meeting to discuss cooperation and other pending issues of mutual concerns, The Yonhap's journalist said .

The talks, held in Tokyo earlier in the day, marked the first time that foreign ministers of the three countries got together following the last such event held in Seoul in March 2015. Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and his Japanese and Chinese counterparts, Fumio Kishida and Wang Yi, attended the gathering.

At a joint press conference held after the meeting, Kishida told reporters that the three confirmed that they will lead the international response, including resolutions on the U.N. Security Council level, against the North's continued provocations. They also agreed that the North's latest missile test-fire is a provocation that cannot be tolerated.

The North fired off a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) from waters near the port city of Sinpo at around 5:30 a.m., according to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff. The missile flew about 500 kilometers and fell into waters under Japan's air defense identification zone.

Experts see the launch as an improvement and success compared with previous SLBM launches. South Korea's government issued a statement, in which it warned that North Korea's obsession with nuclear weapons development will only hasten the country's self-destruction.

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