The foreign ministers of Japan, the United States and South Korea on Saturday "strongly condemned" North Korea's latest firing of an ICBM-class missile, pledging to work closely together to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.

At their meeting in Munich, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and his U.S. and South Korean counterparts, Antony Blinken and Park Jin, shared the view that Pyongyang's "repeated ballistic missile launches at an unprecedented pace pose a grave and imminent threat" to regional security, according to the ministry.

File photo shows (from L) U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin at a trilateral meeting in July 2022. (Kyodo)

The trilateral talks were held after North Korea fired a suspected intercontinental ballistic missile earlier on Saturday. It fell into the Sea of Japan over 200 kilometers west of Hokkaido in northern Japan, within the country's exclusive economic zone, according to the Japanese government.

It was the first ballistic missile test by the North since Jan. 1. The country launched various types of missiles on a record 37 occasions in 2022, and fears linger that the nation may conduct what would be its seventh nuclear test.

The three top diplomats vowed to beef up trilateral security cooperation toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in accordance with U.N. Security Council resolutions, the Japanese ministry said.

After the trilateral talks, Hayashi and Park met bilaterally and agreed to cooperate in dealing with various challenges facing the international community, including Pyongyang's missile launches.

The two also confirmed that the two East Asian nations will maintain close communication as they work toward an "early settlement" of the issue of compensation demands from South Koreans over alleged forced labor during Japan's 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula, according to the ministry.

The meetings in the southern German city were held on the fringes of the three-day Munich Security Conference through Sunday.

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