People watch a television news broadcast showing file footage of a DPRK missile test, at a railway station in Seoul on Jan 5, 2022, after DPRK fired what appeared to be a ballistic missile into the sea off its east coast, according to the Republic of Korea's military. (JUNG YEON-JE / AFP)
SEOUL – Republic of Korea President Moon Jae-in emphasized the importance of talks with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on Wednesday after Pyongyang's suspected missile test-firing earlier in the day.
"There are concerns that tensions could be created and the stalemate of South-North relations could deepen further because of that," Moon said in a groundbreaking ceremony for a railway at an eastern inter-Korean border town.
The ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the military detected the projectile, presumed to be a ballistic missile launched from a site in the DPRK's northern province of Jagang towards the East Sea at about 8:10 am local time (2310 GMT on Tuesday)
He noted that the two sides should not give up dialogue to fundamentally overcome such a situation, urging the DPRK to make efforts for dialogue in a more earnest way.
Moon's remark came hours after the DPRK fired an unidentified projectile towards its eastern waters.
The ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the military detected the projectile, presumed to be a ballistic missile launched from a site in the DPRK's northern province of Jagang towards the East Sea at about 8:10 am local time (2310 GMT on Tuesday).
It noted that the intelligence authorities of ROK and the United States were analyzing details of the projectile.
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The JCS said the ROK military was closely monitoring relevant situations and maintaining readiness posture in close cooperation with the United States to prepare for the possible additional missile launch by the DPRK.
It marked the DPRK's first missile test in 2022. The last test-firing was conducted on Oct 19 last year when the DPRK test-launched a new type of submarine-launched ballistic missile.
The ROK president attended the ceremony to build a single-track railway from the east inter-Korean border town of Jejin to the eastern coastal city of Gangneung.
Reconnecting roads and railways across the inter-Korean border was one of the agreements reached by Moon and top DPRK leader Kim Jong-un during their summit in 2018 at the border village of Panmunjom.
Denuclearization talks between the DPRK and the United States have been stalled since the second summit between the DPRK leader and former US President Donald Trump ended without an agreement in February 2019 in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi.
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Top nuclear envoys of ROK and the United States held phone talks following the DPRK's missile test-launch, according to the ROK foreign ministry.
Noh Kyu-duk, ROK's special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, talked over the phone with his US counterpart Sung Kim about the DPRK's projectile launch and discussed ways to respond to it.
The two sides agreed to continue close cooperation and make efforts for the resumption of dialogue with the DPRK.
ROK's presidential National Security Council held an emergency meeting, expressing concerns about the DPRK's projectile launch, according to the Blue House.
The NSC members said the DPRK's missile launch came when the stability of the Korean Peninsula situation was needed at home and abroad, emphasizing the importance of the resumption of talks with Pyongyang to relieve the inter-Korean tensions.