Japan, South Korea and the United States have agreed that the U.N. Security Council should adopt a statement denouncing North Korea for its suspected nuclear weapons development if it does not agree to conduct multilateral talks, a senior Foreign Ministry official said Tuesday.
A special Chinese government envoy is visiting North Korea to persuade the regime there to resume dialogue over the dispute. The U.S. wants the dialogue to include South Korea and Japan, while Pyongyang insists it will only talk with Washington.
If North Korea shows no sign of accepting the call by the end of July, the three nations would work toward having the UNSC adopt a statement against the reclusive state, the official said on condition of anonymity.
Japan has so far been cautious of adopting a UNSC statement, saying priority should be given to holding multilateral talks.
China has also been opposed to the adoption of such a statement, but the official predicted that Beijing would eventually give in if it fails to persuade Pyongyang to come to the negotiating table.
Last week, the U.S. government reportedly confirmed that North Korea has begun reprocessing spent nuclear fuel rods at its Yongbyon facilities after it detected krypton 85, a reprocessing byproduct. A South Korean report Sunday alleged that North Korea has already told the U.S. that reprocessing of the fuel rods has been completed.
Members of a visiting U.S. government team will hold working-level discussions Wednesday with their Japanese counterparts to reinforce measures to prevent unlawful acts involving North Korea, including illegal remittances, drug trafficking and other forms of illegal trade.
Officials from the Foreign Ministry, the National Police Agency, the Defense Agency and the Justice Ministry will take part.