South Korean President Moon Jae-in has called North Korea's recent ballistic missile launches "undesirable" amid efforts to resume dialogue with Pyongyang.
Moon was speaking at a memorial service on Friday, the 11th anniversary of the sinking of a naval ship in the Yellow Sea that killed 46 sailors. South Korea and the United States say the North sank the vessel with a torpedo.
Referring to Thursday's missile launches, Moon said he's aware that people are greatly concerned.
He also said now is the time for South and North Korea and the US to work to continue dialogue, and that actions hampering the mood for dialogue are undesirable.
The president stressed that Seoul is ready to counter any and all types of provocation, backed by the country's stronger-than-ever military and the firm South Korea-US alliance.
With about one year left before his term expires, Moon has seen his approval ratings fall to record lows this week.
He faces the challenge of holding onto his political influence while trying to improve ties with North Korea, which is maintaining a tough stance.