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Blinken, Motegi reaffirm joint efforts with S. Korea to denuclearize peninsula

All News 01:10 October 08, 2021

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Japanese counterpart Toshimitsu Motegi reaffirmed their commitment to working closely with South Korea toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the U.S. State Department said Thursday.

The top diplomats of the U.S. and Japan also shared their concerns over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs during a phone call held Wednesday, according to the State Department.

"The secretary and the foreign minister shared their concerns about the DPRK's nuclear and ballistic missile programs and reaffirmed their commitment to address and resolve these issues through U.S.-Japan-Republic of Korea trilateral cooperation towards complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," it said in a press release, referring to South and North Korea by their official names. DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North's official name.

The call comes after Motegi's reappointment as Japanese foreign minister under the country's newly inaugurated Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

North Korea staged several missile tests last month that included what it claims to have been the test launch of a new hypersonic glide vehicle.

The U.S. has condemned the missile launches as violations of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions, but continued to reach out to Pyongyang for dialogue, offering to meet "anytime, anywhere without preconditions."

North Korea remains unresponsive to U.S. overtures, and has stayed away from denuclearization negotiations with the U.S. since early 2019.

However, Pyongyang reopened its direct communication channels with South Korea on Monday after a near two-month suspension, prompting hopes that the reclusive nation may be preparing to engage in dialogue with Seoul, as well as Washington.


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