WASHINGTON – Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba and his U.S. counterpart, Hillary Rodham Clinton, agreed Tuesday that their countries will take “appropriate action” at the U.N. Security Council if North Korea launches a long-range rocket despite strong international opposition.
Genba and Clinton, who held talks in Washington prior to an annual meeting of the Group of Eight foreign policy chiefs, urged North Korea to reconsider its plan to put what it claims is an observation satellite into space using a three-stage rocket.
The launch is widely seen as a cover for testing technology for ballistic missiles.
“Efforts need to be made until the last minute” to prevent the launch, Genba said at a joint news conference after the meeting. “Japan and the United States should cooperate closely and also agreed that the international community, including the U.N. Security Council, will take appropriate action” if North Korea goes ahead with the plan.
Clinton added: “If North Korea wants a peaceful, better future for their people, it should not conduct another launch that would be a direct threat to regional security.”
She said the U.S. and other countries are discussing a response at the U.N.
Both Genba and Clinton, however, refused to explain how far they are considering ratcheting up the pressure on North Korea, whether they are already seeking a new U.N. resolution or what they meant by “appropriate” action.
Japan and the U.S. view the launch, scheduled for sometime between Thursday and next Monday, as a clear violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1874.
The resolution bans Pyongyang from engaging in nuclear tests or launches using ballistic missile technology.