US, Japan reaffirm joint commitment to regional security issues, North Korea
Tokyo, July 10 (efe-epa).- The United States and Japan on Friday reaffirmed their joint commitment to regional security issues, including North Korea, as the two sides reviewed their bilateral ties during Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun’s visit to Tokyo.
Biegun met with Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Defense Minister Taro Kono and both sides agreed to cooperate on issues, including the Korean peninsula, even as the dialog between Washington and Pyongyang stands stalled.
Biegun arrived in Tokyo after his Seoul visit on Thursday and became the first high-ranking foreign official to visit Japan since the county closed its borders to contain the spread of coronavirus.
In a press conference, Motegi said the meeting with Biegun was scheduled to last for 20 minutes but it extended over an hour.
According to an official statement, Motegi and Biegun stressed on the need for a strong alliance between the two countries for the free and open Asia-Pacific.
In the meeting, according to the statement, Biegun said that Washington remained committed to following the issues of the Asia-Pacific region closely and agreed with Motegi over cooperation to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
In Seoul, Biegun stressed that Washington remained open to dialog with Pyongyang to seek denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and hoped for a third summit between North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump.
In contrast, on Friday, the Pyongyang regime through Kim Yo-jong, the sister of the North Korean leader, said that another summit between Kim and Trump was “unnecessary and useless.”
Kim and Trump have met three times since June 2018 to reach an agreement for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula in exchange for the US easing international sanctions that have crippled the North Korean economy.
However, the peace process has stalemated since their last meeting in June 2019.
The two leaders met for the first summit in Singapore in 2018 and agreed to work toward complete denuclearization of the peninsula, better ties, and lasting peace in the restive region.
The second summit in Hanoi in February last year ended without an agreement following differences between the two sides mainly on the easing of the sanctions.
The two leaders met again in June last at the inter-Korean border and agreed to resume working-level negotiations.
The talks between working groups were held in Stockholm in October without any progress. EFE-EPA