US, Japan, South Korea say ‘urgent’ dialogue needed after North Korea’s missile test

·2 min read
Top Japan, centre, US, left and South Korea’s, right, diplomat hold talks in Tokyo  (AP)
Top Japan, centre, US, left and South Korea’s, right, diplomat hold talks in Tokyo (AP)

High-ranking diplomats from Japan, the US and South Korea agreed that “urgent” dialogue and diplomacy is necessary for denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula during the trilateral meeting, a day after North Korea conducted a long-range cruise missile test.

One of the key topics of discussion of Tuesday meeting was how to respond to North Korea’s latest missile test. The top diplomats agreed to sanctions pressure combined with dialogue with Pyongyang, according to Kyodo news agency.

The scheduled meeting was held a day after North Korea’s state media announced on Monday that Pyongyang conducted successful tests of new long-range cruise missile. The tests were conducted during the weekend that analysts indicated having “nuclear capabilities and deserving of sanctions.”

The meeting was attended by the US special envoy to North Korea Sung Kim, chief of Japan’s Foreign Ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, Takehiro Funakoshi and South Korea’s special envoy for peace and security on the Korean Peninsula, Noh Kyu-duk.

"The recent developments in the DPRK are a reminder of the importance of close communication and cooperation from the three countries," Mr Kim said using the initials of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, North Korea’s official name.

South Korea‘s foreign ministry said that the countries agreed "dialogue and diplomacy was urgent to accomplish the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.”

For years, the US and countries in East Asia have been trying to negotiate an end to North Korea’s nuclear and missile development. In 2018, Donald Trump became the first US president to set foot in North Korea and held three meetings during his presidency. But the two failed to reach a breakthrough due to a deadlock on sanctions relief.

US, Japan, North Korea summit was held with the aim to discuss how to emerge from a standoff with North Korea over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
US, Japan, North Korea summit was held with the aim to discuss how to emerge from a standoff with North Korea over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Joe Biden’s administration has said it is still open to engaging with Pyongyang despite the recent missile tests, but has so far shown no willingness to ease sanctions.

Pyongyang has maintained that there is no sign of policy changes from the US, citing issues such as sanctions as well as joint military drills with South Korea, which it says show preparation for an attack.

US, Japan, North Korea summit was focused on how to emerge from a standoff with North Korea over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes.

Japan’s Mr Funakoshi said: "Our cooperation becomes all the more important as North Korea advances furthermore in its nuclear and missile development."

The last trilateral meeting was held in June in Seoul.

Additional reporting by agencies

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