WASHINGTON, The United States, South Korea and Japan agreed to strengthen efforts to deter North Korea provocations.
Pyongyang’s satellite launches, test firing of missiles and submarine-launched ballistic missiles are raising concerns, and the three members of the six-party talks said they stand together against the provocations, Yonhap reported.
“We shared an understanding that the international community should send a strong message to deter strategic provocations like SLBM [tests] or satellite launches,” said Hwang Joon-kook, Seoul’s special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs.
Hwang was meeting with his U.S. counterpart Sung Kim and Japanese delegate Kimihiro Ishikane in Washington, D.C., on Thursday for talks on North Korea-related issues.
Hwang said North Korea always is preparing provocations, and that the United States, South Korea and Japan had agreed to continue to work together to carry out Security Council resolutions, and to “improve the effectiveness of Security Council sanctions.”
Hwang said the first step toward North Korea denuclearization would be the suspension of nuclear or missile tests, the end of nuclear testing activity and granting permission to inspectors from the U.N. to the sites. He also said an offer to North Korea to hold unconditional “exploratory talks” still stands.
Amb. Sung Kim, U.S. special representative for North Korea policy said North Korea should refrain from any provocation.
“The numerous U.N. Security Council resolutions made it very clear that North Korea should not be conducting provocative actions,” Kim said.
South Korean television network KBS reported all three representatives had agreed they would work together to ensure the United Nations Security Council resolutions on North Korea be faithfully implemented.
The six-party talks on North Korea denuclearization have not made progress since late 2008.