US, Japan and South Korea agree to maintain pressure on North Korea

Washington — The United States, South Korea, and Japan agreed at a high-level security talks on Friday to work together to continue to pressure North Korea to abandon its nuclear ballistic missile program.

In a joint statement after the meeting, US President Joe Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan, his Japanese counterpart Shigeru Kitamura, and South Korean national security adviser Suh Hoon said, “Denuclearization. . “

The three countries also agreed on the need for the full implementation of the UN Security Council resolution on North Korea by the international community, saying, “We will work together to prevent proliferation, strengthen deterrence on the Korean Peninsula, and maintain peace and stability.” Stated.

National Security Advisers also discussed the value of working together to address other challenges such as COVID-19, climate change and promoting an immediate return to democracy in Burma (also known as Myanmar). Said.

The meeting at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, is the highest-level meeting among the three allies since Biden came to power on January 20, and launched a North Korean missile last week. Against the background of heightened tension later.

Mr Biden, who has finalized a review of North Korea’s policies, said last week that the United States remained open to diplomacy with North Korea despite ballistic missile testing, but North Korea raised the issue. He warned that if he escalated, there would be a response.

The White House shares little about its policy review and whether North Korea will offer concessions to take a seat in negotiations to discuss abandoning nuclear weapons.

But State Department spokesman Ned Price said Thursday that denuclearization remains central to policy, and any approach to Pyongyang must be done in a “lock step” with close allies, including Japan and South Korea. Said.

Biden has sought to involve North Korea in the dialogue, but has so far been rejected.

Pyongyang, which has long sought to lift international sanctions on arms programs, said last week that the Biden administration took the wrong first step, revealing “deep hostility” by criticizing the so-called self-defense missile test. It was.

In an official US briefing before the meeting, North Korea’s review is in the final stages and “we are ready for final talks between Japan and South Korea in the future.”

Joseph Yun, a US special envoy to North Korea under both former President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump, who is currently at the US Peace Institute, said policy options were clear. Sanctions to reach denuclearization. “

“But at least how do we take the first step so that North Korea is persuaded not to do anything provocative? That is the challenge,” he said.

Some supporters of the dialogue are concerned that the Biden administration has not emphasized the broad agreement between Trump and Kim at its first meeting in Singapore in 2018, which makes it difficult to build trust. It warns that there is a possibility.

When asked if the deal was still valid, officials said they “understood the importance of the Singapore deal,” but did not reveal the extent to which the issue would be part of the Annapolis talks. It was.

The three officials were also expected to discuss the global shortage of semiconductor chips that forced US car makers and other makers to cut production.

By Steve Holland and David Brunnstrom

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