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SINGAPORE (Kyodo) Japan and the United States do not recognize North Korea as a nuclear power despite its recent nuclear and missile tests, Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said after bilateral talks Saturday with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Hamada and Gates were later joined by South Korean National Defense Minister Lee Sang Hee for their first trilateral defense ministerial talks, with the three agreeing to cooperate closely in tackling Pyongyang’s nuclear threats.

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