Kamala Harris, other APEC leaders condemn North Korean missile test

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From left to right, Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and South Korea’s Prime Minister Han Duck-soo make a statement on North Korea’s missile launch during the 2022 APEC meeting in Bangkok on Friday. Photo by Mick Tsikas/EPA-EFE

Nov. 18 (UPI) — Vice President Kamala Harris and other leaders attending the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit on Friday said a powerful North Korean missile test set off earlier in the day would be met with “a strong and resolute” response.

North Korea, under the leadership of Kim Jong Un, fired an intercontinental ballistic missile from the Sunan area of the North Korean capital Pyongyang. It was the second such test in consecutive days.

Harris met with Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to discuss the incident in Bangkok on the sidelines of the APEC summit.

“They agreed that this launch is a brazen violation of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions and the leaders called on all U.N. member states to fully implement all relevant UNSC resolutions,” a statement from the White House said.

“The leaders reaffirmed that a [North Korean] nuclear test would be met with a strong and resolute response from the international community. They reiterated that the path to dialogue remains open for the DPRK, and they called on the DPRK to abandon needless provocation and to return to serious and sustained diplomacy.”

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is the formal name of North Korea.

Harris also met with Trudeau and Vietnam President Nguyen Phuc on the margins of the APEC meeting.

“[Harris and Nguyen] discussed our work together to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific and stand up for international rules and norms,” the White House said. “They also discussed strengthening economic ties between the United States and Vietnam and the United States 2023 APEC Host Year.”

With Trudeau, Harris discussed U.S.-Canada cooperation on a range of regional and global issues, including Haiti. They talked about ways to support the people of Haiti as they work to restore security and democratic order.

In comments to APEC leaders, Harris said the United States, with its own Pacific coastline and some of the world’s most robust Pacific ports, is a partner in the economic viability and security of the region.

“The United States is a proud Pacific power,” Harris said. “We have a vital interest in promoting a region that is open, interconnected, prosperous, secure and resilient. In the nearly two years since President Joe Biden and I took office, we have strengthened our alliances and partnerships throughout the Indo-Pacific.”

Harris said the United States has enhanced its security presence in the region, which at has benefited all Pacific countries. She said the United States will continue in its work to “uphold international rules and norms” in a subtle comment about standing up to China’s aggression in the region.

“Our administration has made significant progress on an ambitious and affirmative economic agenda for the region, one that has already delivered results for individuals, communities and entire economies,” she said.

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