U.S., Japan agree to maximize diplomatic pressure on North Korea

TOKYO โ€” U.S. and Japanese diplomats agreed Tuesday to maximize pressure on North Korea to resolve tensions over its nuclear program, while citing the need to be prepared for the worst if diplomacy fails.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, after meeting his Japanese counterpart, Shinsuke Sugiyama, told reporters that the focus at the State Department is still on diplomacy to solve the problem and eventually denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.

โ€œWe must, however, with our allies in Japan and South Korea and elsewhere, be prepared for the worst should diplomacy fail,โ€ he said. The U.S. must be prepared to defend itself and its allies, he said.

Sugiyama, briefing reporters separately, reiterated Japanโ€™s support for President Donald Trumpโ€™s policy of keeping all options open, but stressed the need for a diplomatic solution by bolstering cooperation among Japan, U.S. and South Korea, as well as via cooperation with China and Russia.

The two diplomats will join their South Korean counterpart in Seoul for further talks Wednesday on North Korea.

READ MORE: Rex Tillerson says continue diplomacy with North Korea โ€˜until first bomb dropsโ€™

The talks come as the U.S. and South Korea hold joint naval drills this week. They regularly conduct joint exercises, though North Korea condemns them as an invasion rehearsal.

North Koreaโ€™s deputy U.N. ambassador warned on Monday that the situation on the peninsula โ€œhas reached the touch-and-go point and a nuclear war may break out any moment.โ€

Kim In Ryong told the U.N. General Assemblyโ€™s disarmament committee that North Korea has been subjected to a direct nuclear threat from the United States and has the right to possess nuclear weapons in self-defense.

He pointed to military exercises and what he called a U.S. plan to stage a โ€œsecret operation aimed at the removal of our supreme leadership.โ€

Kimโ€™s speech follows increasingly tough U.N. sanctions. Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country is curtailing economic, scientific and other ties with North Korea in line with U.N. sanctions, and the European Union announced new sanctions as well.

Source link

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: