• Kyodo News

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Japan and South Korea in telephone talks Thursday reaffirmed close coordination along with the United States in urging North Korea to refrain from conducting any rocket launches, Foreign Ministry officials said.

Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone contacted his South Korean counterpart, Yu Myung Hwan, to express gratitude for Seoul’s assistance in arranging a meeting between a former North Korean agent and the relatives of an abductee in Busan on Wednesday.

During the 15-minute conversation, the two ministers agreed to continue to step up cooperation in seeking a resolution to North Korea’s abductions of Japanese, South Koreans and other foreign nationals, and pressing Pyongyang to fulfill its promises on denuclearization, Foreign Ministry officials said.

North Korea has recently stepped up its bellicose rhetoric, claiming it is preparing to put a communications satellite into space and threatening war in retaliation for any move to intercept the rocket by other countries, including Japan, South Korea or the U.S.

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