U.S., Japan, South Korea to discuss North Korea following recent missile launches

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WASHINGTON, Feb 6 (Reuters) - The U.S. special representative for North Korea will meet with Japanese and South Korean officials later this week, the U.S. State Department said on Sunday, following a series of ballistic missile tests U.S. officials said Pyongyang launched last month.

U.S. Ambassador Sung Kim will travel to Honolulu from Feb. 10-15 to host a trilateral meeting "to discuss a broad range of issues, including the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," the department said in a statement.

North Korea has long been banned from conducting nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches by the U.N. Security Council, but the United States and others have said it carried out nine ballistic missile launches in January - the most in a single month in the history of the country's nuclear and missile programs.

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Sung Kim, U.S. Special Envoy for North Korea, poses ahead of a trilateral meeting between Japan, U.S., and South Korea, to discuss North Korea, in Tokyo, Japan, September 14, 2021. David Mareuil/Pool via REUTERS

The United Nations, in a confidential report seen by Reuters, said North Korea continued to develop its nuclear and ballistic missile programs during the past year in addition to cyberattacks on Cryptocurrency exchanges. [nL1N2UG0GA]

Japanese Director-General for Asian and Oceanian Affairs Funakoshi Takehiro and South Korea's Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs, Noh Kyu-duk, will also attend the meetings.

"The U.S. will reiterate its commitment to regional security and lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula," at a Feb. 12 Trilateral Ministerial meeting, the department added.

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Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Toby Chopra and Nick Macfie

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