The leaders of Japan, the United States and South Korea on Sunday agreed to take "resolute steps" toward the complete denuclearization of North Korea as tensions have escalated recently over Pyongyang's flurry of missile tests.

After meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol in Phnom Penh, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida also told reporters that the three-way cooperation is becoming more important than ever, given the possibility of further provocations by North Korea.

Amid fears that North Korea may soon go ahead with its seventh nuclear test and first since 2017, in defiance of international warnings, the leaders agreed to work together to strengthen deterrence with the three countries coordinating sanctions against Pyongyang, according to a joint statement.