UPDATE 1-North Korea missile launch ‘unfortunate’, but path to dialogue open, US envoy says

(Adds further comment from Kritenbrink)

WASHINGTON, Oct 3 (Reuters) – The top US diplomat for East Asia described North Korea’s firing of a ballistic missile over Japan on Tuesday as “unfortunate” but said a path to dialogue remained open and urged Pyongyang to refrain from further destabilizing actions.

Daniel Kritenbrink, the State Department’s assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific affairs, made the comments at an online event hosted by the Institute for Korean-American Studies.

“(We) urge the DPRK to take the path of dialogue, commit to serious and sustained diplomacy, and refrain from further destabilizing activities,” Kritenbrink said.

Kritenbrink also said China, Washington’s strategic rival, needs to do more to combat sanctions evasion by North Korea. He added that Beijing and Russia need to do more to shut down what he described as Pyongyang’s procurement networks. (Reporting by David Brunnstrom; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Gerry Doyle)

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