• Kyodo

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A senior Japanese official and visiting U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun on Monday discussed coordination over denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

During the talks in Tokyo, Kenji Kanasugi, director general of the Foreign Ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, and Biegun agreed that Japan, the United States and South Korea will continue to work closely together in addressing the North Korean issue, the ministry said in a statement.

Kanasugi and Biegun also exchanged views over the situation in North Korea, including a series of recent test-firings of short-range ballistic missiles by North Korea.

Biegun is visiting South Korea from Tuesday and is expected to seek further trilateral cooperation to deal with the North.

The trip comes after U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed at the end of June that their countries would resume stalled denuclearization negotiations within weeks, though such meetings have yet to take place.

Trump wrote on Twitter earlier this month that he had received a letter from Kim stating that the North Korean leader is willing to meet again after joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises end on Tuesday.

North Korea, which sees the joint drills as rehearsals for invasion, has fired a series of short-range missiles in apparent protest, most recently on Friday, but Trump has downplayed the significance of the launches.

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