Japan and the United States reaffirmed their resolve Thursday to closely cooperate to discourage North Korea from work on its missile programs.
During the one-day talks in Tokyo, the U.S. delegation provided information about the two-day missile talks between the U.S. and North Korea earlier this week in Pyongyang.
The delegation, led by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Nonproliferation Robert Einhorn, was here en route from Seoul where they briefed South Korean officials Wednesday on their negotiations to persuade North Korea to halt missile development and exports. At the meeting in Pyongyang, the delegation conveyed Washington’s strong concern over Pyongyang’s missile programs, including development, deployment, launch and export of long-range missiles, a Foreign Ministry official quoted U.S. delegates as saying.
The U.S. and Japan reaffirmed their stance of demanding self-restraint from Pyongyang on its missile programs, the official said. The U.S., South Korea and Japan have been trying to replace an armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War with a new peace accord and in the meantime to agree on confidence-building measures to reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
As for North Korea’s nuclear programs, Pyongyang agreed, under a 1994 accord with the U.S., to freeze its programs and allow international inspectors into a nuclear site suspected of producing some weapons. In its latest deal last month, North Korea also agreed to allow U.S. inspections at another suspected underground nuclear site in Kumchangri in the northwestern part of the country in exchange for food aid.