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US, Japan, S. Korea affirm ties toward North Korea denuclearization

In this file photo, taken on Feb. 2, 2018, and released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency the next day, Hwasong-15 missiles on mobile launchers are displayed during a military parade at Kimilsung Square in Pyongyang to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of its armed forces (Yonhap). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

WASHINGTON D.C., Feb 19, 2021, Kyodo News. Senior foreign ministry officials of the United States, Japan and South Korea on Thursday affirmed to work closely toward the denuclearization of Korean Peninsula in their first such trilateral meeting to discuss North Korean issues since the change of the U.S. administration, Kyodo News reported.

The group discussed during a videoconference the ongoing U.S. review on its North Korea policy and “stressed the importance of continued close cooperation and coordination,” the U.S. State Department said in a press release.

Since its inauguration on Jan. 20, the Biden administration has vowed to review North Korea policy in its entirety in consultation with U.S. allies to get the reclusive state to abandon its nuclear weapons.

Sung Kim, U.S. acting assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, Takehiro Funakoshi, director general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, and Noh Kyu Duk, South Korean Foreign Ministry’s special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs attended the meeting.

The officials agreed they will closely cooperate in the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula based on U.N. Security Council resolutions, the Japanese ministry said.

The resolutions impose sanctions on North Korea for its illicit development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

In the talks, Funakoshi also asked for the support of the United States and South Korea in seeking to resolve the issue of past abductions of Japanese nationals by North Korea and earned their understanding and backing, the Japanese ministry said.

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