Conflicts & War

Japan, US reaffirm defense cooperation after North Korean weapons tests

Tokyo, Feb 2 (EFE).- Foreign chiefs of the United States and Japan Wednesday reaffirmed their security cooperation after North Korea conducted seven weapons tests in the last month.

The Japanese foreign ministry said Yoshimasa Hayashi and Antony Blinken spoke over the phone after Pyongyang launched a Hwasong-12 mid-range ballistic missile earlier this week, the first time North Korea tested a weapon of that reach since 2017.

“The two ministers shared serious concern about North Korea’s nuclear and missile activities including the ballistic missile launch on Jan.30,” a Japan foreign ministry statement said.

“Based on the common understanding that such activities pose a threat to the peace and stability of Japan, the region and the international community, they concurred to continue close coordination between Japan and the United States.”

The two stressed closer ties among Japan, the US, and South Korea for “the complete denuclearization of North Korea in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions.”

Yoshimasa and Blinken spoke hours after the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the intermediate-range ballistic missile launch by North Korea in violation of UN resolutions.

“This is a breaking of (North Korea’s) announced moratorium in 2018 on launches of this nature, and a clear violation of Security Council resolutions,” he said in a statement.

He urged North Korea to “desist from taking any further counter-productive actions and calls for all parties to seek a peaceful diplomatic solution.”

The top US and Japanese diplomats also expressed “grave concern” over Russia’s military build-up in the areas near the border with Ukraine.

They “confirmed their support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and concurred to continue close coordination between them,” the Japanese foreign ministry said. EFE


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