US, Japan and South Korea meet after North Korea missile test

09/14/2021

Tokyo, Sept. 14: Senior envoys from Japan, the US and South Korea have held talks in Tokyo that focused on North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs. The three diplomats agreed that “dialogue was urgent to accomplish the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.” according to South Korea’s foreign ministry.

Close cooperation an important step

The trilateral talks involved US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Sung Kim, South Korea’s Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Noh Kyu-duk and Japan’s Director-General for Asian affairs Takehiro Funakoshi.

The diplomats spoke of the importance of close cooperation between the three countries. In opening remarks US special envoy Sung Kim said: “The recent developments in the DPRK are a reminder of the importance of close communication and cooperation from the three countries.”

Kim also reaffirmed the US position to meet with Pyongyang with no preconditions attached to dialogue.

The meeting follows announcements from North Korean state media that tests involving a new long-range missile over the weekend, had been successful.

Fears of a ‘new threat’

There are concerns among Japanese officials that Pyongyang’s latest test represents a new threat in the region.

On Monday, state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) described the missile as a “strategic weapon of great significance.” According to the news agency the missile has the capability to strike targets 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) away.

Its not yet clear how close North Korea is to being able to arm a missile with a nuclear warhead.

In March the reclusive state test fired two short-range ballistic missiles. The US did not express any particular concern in that instance and put it down to regular testing.

Following this latest test the Biden administration indicated that it is still willing to engage with Pyongyang.

-Agencies

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