U.S. policy coordinator for North Korea William Perry and top Japanese officials agreed Wednesday to pursue a “comprehensive approach” toward North Korea, particularly in ways to prevent Pyongyang from developing nuclear weapons and delivery systems.
Perry, who arrived Tuesday for a two-day visit, said he gained support from Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi and other officials as he provided an outline of a report he’s compiling expected to come out later this month.
Both sides declined to comment on details of Perry’s approach, which was agreed upon during separate talks with Obuchi, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiromu Nonaka, Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura, and Defense Agency chief Hosei Norota. “I found that they have a similar assessment of the situation and of the need to stand shoulder-to-shoulder, as we devise a comprehensive approach to the threats posed by North Korea,” Perry told reporters after meeting with the officials.
It is believed that the report will call on the three countries to work closely together in convincing North Korea to abandon its missile and nuclear programs. It also is believed that it will provide an accommodating Pyongyang with expanded economic and diplomatic benefits.
During his meetings, Perry explained “what the U.S. thinks is a comprehensive approach toward Pyongyang,” one official said, adding the approach is “quite acceptable to Japan.”
Perry, a former U.S. Defense Secretary, is on the final leg of a tour that has also taken him to China, Taiwan and South Korea to seek information and advice on his policy review of North Korea. He is expected to present his recommendations to U.S. President Bill Clinton by the end of the month, and the Clinton administration will review its foreign policies toward Pyongyang based on the report.
In a meeting with Perry, Obuchi expressed support for his policy review, saying his recommendations to Clinton take the same course as Japanese policies toward Pyongyang, a government official told reporters.
Obuchi also underlined the need to maintain a tough stance toward North Korea if it shows signs of another missile launch. The two agreed on the need for the U.S., South Korea and Japan to make concerted efforts in dealing with North Korea.