• Kyodo

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Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday condemned North Korea for test-firing a submarine-launched ballistic missile in defiance of U.N. resolutions.

In 30-minute telephone talks, Kishida and Kerry also reaffirmed that their countries will closely cooperate with South Korea in dealing with the North, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.

They welcomed a statement released Friday by the U.N. Security Council slamming North Korea for defying U.N. resolutions with a series of test-firings of submarine-launched and other ballistic missiles beginning in July, it said.

Kishida is in Nairobi to accompany Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is participating in a two-day summit of Japanese and African leaders that began on Saturday.

The North Korean missile launched Wednesday flew about 500 kilometers (310 miles) toward Japan, a distance markedly farther than similar launches in the past.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has praised the country’s missile program for having “perfectly acquired” SLBM technology in a short span of time.

Kishida argued that the latest launch added to security threats in the Asia-Pacific region. Kerry reiterated the U.S. commitment to defending its allies in a resolute manner.

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