US, allies search ways to contain North Korea’s nuclear programme
Nuclear envoys from Japan, South Korea and the US hold talks a day after Pyongyang tested a long-range missile.
Top nuclear envoys from Japan, the United States and South Korea have held talks in Tokyo on to discuss how to rein in North Korea’s missile and nuclear programmes, a day after Pyongyang said it conducted a new long-range missile test.
North Korea has successfully tested a new long-range cruise missile that analysts say could be the country’s first such weapon with nuclear capabilities.
“The recent developments in the DPRK are a reminder of the importance of close communication and cooperation from the three countries,” Sung Kim, the US special envoy for North Korea, said in his opening remarks on Tuesday, using the initials of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, its official name.
The three countries have been discussing ways to break a standoff with North Korea over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes, which have drawn international sanctions.
In meeting with his Japanese counterpart Takehiro Funakoshi and South Korean counterpart Noh Kyu-duk, Kim said Washington remained open to diplomacy to deal with North Korea issues.
The White House said they were still prepared to engage with Pyongyang despite the recent missile test, but US President Joe Biden’s administration has shown no willingness to ease sanctions.
Pyongyang has said it sees 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 are preparation for an attack.
While Washington is a close military and economic ally of both Japan and South Korea, ties between the Asian neighbours have often been strained over wartime history.