National / Politics

Nuclear non-proliferation group vows to work to achieve North Korea's denuclearization

Kyodo

Foreign ministers from a coalition of non-nuclear weapons states pledged Saturday to work in tandem to achieve North Korea’s denuclearization, as the country’s negotiations with the United States have been at a stalemate.

“The current international security environment is fraught with uncertainty and tension,” the ministers of the 12-member Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative said in a joint statement released after their gathering in Nagoya.

“We reaffirm our commitment to the international community’s goal of complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of all North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges,” the ministers added.

North Korea has warned that it will resume nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missiles tests unless the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump makes concessions in talks over denuclearization by the end of this year.

Since earlier this year, Pyongyang has continued to launch new weapons believed to be short-range missiles in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions that prohibit the nation from developing a nuclear arsenal and ballistic missiles.

Saturday’s meeting was held in the run-up to the quinquennial review conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, scheduled for next spring.

The gathering, co-chaired by Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, was the 10th meeting of its kind since the group was established in 2010 in an attempt to realize a “world free of nuclear weapons.”

The framework, created at the initiative of Japan and Australia, has demonstrated support for the NPT, a landmark multilateral treaty aimed at preventing the spread of nuclear technologies.

The global situation on nuclear weapons has become more uncertain as the United States also pulled out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Tehran has recently suspended some of its commitments under the nuclear pact involving the country and six major powers such as China and Russia, in response to Washington’s withdrawal from the accord and reintroduction of sanctions.

The Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative is a coalition composed of Australia, Canada, Chile, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, the Philippines, Poland, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.