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(2nd LD) Park calls for closer cooperation with Japan over N.K. nuke, provocations

All Headlines 20:35 September 07, 2016

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead; UPDATES with new info in para 2; minor edits; CHANGES photo)
By Song Sang-ho

VIENTIANE, Sept. 7 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye on Wednesday called for closer cooperation with Japan in countering North Korea's provocations and bringing about its denuclearization, saying the communist state's evolving nuclear and missile programs pose a "serious" threat to both countries.

During a bilateral summit with Park, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe portrayed Pyongyang's latest ballistic missile provocations as "indescribable violence," stressing the importance of two-way cooperation against the recalcitrant regime's continued saber-rattling.

President Park Geun-hye (L) and her Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe hold a summit on the sidelines of multiple summits with the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in the Laotian capital of Vientiane on Sept. 7, 2016. (Yonhap)

The summit between the leaders of the neighboring countries was held on the sidelines of multiple meetings with the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in the Laotian capital of Vientiane.

Their summit came amid the communist state's unrelenting saber-rattling, including its launch of three mid-range ballistic missiles Monday and a submarine-launched ballistic missile test last month.

The latest missile tests threaten the security of both South Korea and Japan, as some of them were found to have landed within Japan's exclusive economic zone in the East Sea.

Wednesday's meeting with Abe capped Park's brisk diplomacy with the four major powers, including the United States, China and Russia, to strengthen international unity against Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs.

During the summit, the two leaders discussed the progress in the implementation of last year's deal between Seoul and Tokyo to settle the thorny issue of Japan's wartime sexual enslavement of Korean women.

Japan has recently wired 1 billion yen (US$9.6 million) to the South Korean side to fulfill its part of the landmark deal. The fund will be used to heal the psychological scars of the victims and restore their honor under the Dec. 28 deal, Seoul and Tokyo have said.

Wednesday's summit was the third between Park and Abe. Their last meeting was held on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in March.

Park and Abe are in Vientiane to attend multiple summits with the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Laos is the third and last leg of her eight-day trip that also took her to Russia and China.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
(END)

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