Top diplomats from Japan, the United States and South Korea said they "strongly condemn" North Korea's recent ballistic missile launches, while vowing to work together to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.

In a joint statement issued Friday, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin vowed to "strengthen trilateral cooperation towards the complete denuclearization" of the peninsula and said they remain open to hold dialogue with the North "without preconditions."

The three expressed "deep concern" at the latest missile launches on Wednesday, describing such actions as having violated multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions.

They also said they "deeply regret" that a U.N. Security Council resolution drafted by the United States seeking to impose tougher sanctions on North Korea was vetoed by China and Russia on Thursday, given that all the other member countries of the council were in favor.

Pyongyang has conducted 15 rounds of ballistic missile tests since the start of this year, the latest of which took place on the day after U.S. President Joe Biden wrapped up his five-day visit to South Korea and Japan on Tuesday.

His trips to the two countries were his first to Asia since he took office in January last year.

Concerns are growing that North Korea is preparing to conduct its first nuclear test since 2017.

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