Cooperation between Japan, South Korea and the United States is essential to ease tension on the Korean Peninsula, South Korean Ambassador Kim Suk Kyu said Friday in Tokyo.

The threat from North Korea has increased with the development of its missile technologies, Kim said.

Kim stressed the importance of encouraging Pyongyang to open itself to the international community through cooperation with Japan, South Korea and the U.S.

Kim, meanwhile, said that South Korea and Japan have established a framework for further cooperation in the 21st century through the visit by President Kim Dae Jung in early October.

Japan apologized to South Korea for its colonial rule in a joint document and the two countries have agreed on a number of cooperative programs including youth exchanges.

He said that cooperative and friendly relations between the two countries will be further strengthened if they successfully realize the visit of the Emperor to South Korea, and bring success to the 2002 World Cup soccer game due to be cohosted by the two countries.

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