Countries want to restart denuclearization discussions that have been dormant for two years.
Top nuclear envoys from Japan, the US, and South Korea met in Tokyo on Tuesday to discuss North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs, one day after Pyongyang announced the successful test of a new long-range cruise missile.
Analysts believe the weapon, dubbed “strategic” by North Korean state media, could have nuclear capability.
“The recent developments in the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] are a reminder of the importance of close communication and cooperation from the three countries,” Sung Kim, the United States special envoy for North Korea, said in his opening remarks, using the initials for the country’s official name.
North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs have prompted international sanctions, and the three countries have been discussing methods to end the standoff.
Kim told his Japanese counterpart Takehiro Funakoshi and his South Korean counterpart Noh Kyu-duk that Washington was still open to talks to resolve North Korean issues.
Despite Pyongyang’s last missile launch, the White House has stated that the US is still willing to talk with Pyongyang.
In May, US President Joe Biden’s administration unveiled a new policy to North Korea, stating it would continue to pursue denuclearization but would not offer Pyongyang any “grand bargain.”
Officials claimed at the time that Biden’s policy would be measured, practical, and focused on diplomacy.
Since 2019, denuclearisation discussions have been stuck due to North Korea’s demand for sanctions relief.
Pyongyang has stated that it sees no evidence of a shift in US policy.
While the United States is a close military and economic partner of both Japan and South Korea, tensions between the Asian neighbors have often arisen over problems such as sovereignty disputes, Japan’s colonization of the Korean peninsula from 1910 to 1945, and their respective wartime histories.
Source: AL JAZEERA