Japan, South Korea, US reaffirm alliance amid Pyongyang ‘threats’

Tokyo, Feb 10 (EFE).- Japan, South Korea and the United States reaffirmed Thursday their cooperation amid what they called threats from North Korea’s recent weapons tests, through a telephone conversation between the countries’ defense representatives.

The conversation between Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi and his counterparts from South Korea and the US, Suh Wook and Lloyd Austin, respectively, came after Pyongyang’s six missile launches in January, including an intermediate range ballistic missile.

The three allied countries agreed to “cooperate closely against the threats posed by North Korean missiles and towards the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” according to the Japanese and South Korean defense ministries.

During the telephone exchange, the three parties said they were concerned about Pyongyang’s latest missile launches because they destabilize regional security and represent a violation of multiple United Nations resolutions.

The South Korean defense minister said the North’s recent tests pose “a serious and direct threat” and a “challenge to United Nations resolutions,” according to the South Korean Yonhap news agency.

For its part, during the talks, Washington expressed its “strong” commitment to the defense of Japan and South Korea.

The three countries will again discuss regional security issues with North Korea during an upcoming meeting Saturday in Hawaii, coinciding with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s Pacific tour.

North Korea opened the year by announcing it would increase its defensive capacity, followed by six tests in just one month with launches of cruise, short-range, hypersonic missiles and a last medium- and long-range missile that had not been tested since 2017.

Added to this is Pyongyang’s threat about the possible resumption of its nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests, noting that it is considering resuming all its “temporarily suspended actions” in defense matters. EFE


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