Top nuclear envoys from Japan, the United States, and South Korea held talks in Tokyo on Tuesday to discuss how to control North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, a day after Pyongyang said it conducted a new long missile test. scope.
North Korean state media announced on Monday what they said were successful tests of a new long-range cruise missile that analysts say could be the country’s first nuclear-capable weapon of its kind.
“The recent events in the DPRK are a reminder of the importance of close communication and cooperation from the three countries,” said Sung Kim, the US special envoy for North Korea, in his opening remarks, using the initials of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, its official name.
The three countries have been discussing ways to break up a showdown with North Korea over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, which have led to international sanctions.
Meeting with his Japanese counterpart Takehiro Funakoshi and his South Korean counterpart Noh Kyu-duk, Kim said Washington remains open to diplomacy to address North Korea’s problems.
The three agreed that “dialogue and diplomacy were urgent to achieve the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” the South Korean Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Denuclearization has been a goal, though not clearly defined, since former US President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met with North Korean leader Kim Jong. -Un, in 2018.
South Korea and the United States also discussed ways to involve Pyongyang, including the possibility of a joint humanitarian project in North Korea, the South Korean Foreign Ministry added, without providing further details.
The administration of US President Joe Biden has said it is still prepared to engage with Pyongyang despite the recent missile test but has so far shown no willingness to ease sanctions.
Pyongyang has said it sees no sign of policy changes by the United States, citing issues such as sanctions and joint military exercises with South Korea, which it says are preparation for an attack.
While Washington is a close military and economically of both Japan and South Korea, ties between Asian neighbors have often been strained over issues including sovereignty disputes, Japan’s occupation of the Korean peninsula in 1910-45, and its war history Any joint approach to dealing with North Korea should also consider China, the lonely state’s main sponsor.