Nuke envoys of S. Korea, Japan discuss cooperation on NK issue

By Yonhap
  • Published : Oct 19, 2017 - 09:51
  • Updated : Oct 19, 2017 - 11:49
The top nuclear envoys of South Korea and Japan held a bilateral meeting Thursday to discuss their coordinated approach toward North Korea's nuclear and missile threats.

Lee Do-hoon, South Korea's special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs at the foreign ministry, had the talks with his Japanese counterpart Kenji Kanasugi. The talks came a day after they had a three-way discussion also involving US nuclear envoy Joseph Yun.

"North Korea has become a new level of threat to Japan, to the region and the entire world," Kanasugi said at the start of the talks. "So we need to take stock of what we should be doing together."

"And if we could come up with a new idea, that will benefit us all. I am looking forward to having the discussion today," he added.

South Korea`s nuke envoy Lee Do-hoon (R) speaks with his Japanese counterpart Kenji Kanasugi in bilateral talks in Seoul on Oct. 19, 2017. (Yonhap)

Lee expressed hope that they will have yet another session of "in-depth" discussion after a "very good" meeting a day earlier.

In a press release detailing the outcome of the bilateral talks, the ministry said that the two exchanged views on how to use "powerful" sanctions and pressure to prevent the North from conducting any more provocations.

They also agreed to intensify efforts to induce China and Russia to play a "constructive" role in the process and share views on how to bring the North to the negotiating table.

The Lee-Kanasugi meeting comes amid mounting tensions after the North conducted its sixth nuclear test last month, followed by a bombastic war of words between the leaders of the North and the United States.

In the three-way talks held Wednesday, the nuclear envoys reaffirmed their shared objective of a "complete" and "peaceful" denuclearization of North Korea.

They echoed the importance of the stable management of the security situation on the Korean Peninsula while agreeing to keep applying powerful pressure on the North through close coordination among the three countries. (Yonhap)