Regional powers discuss N. Korean nuclear issue in Seoul meeting

Accra, Top nuclear envoys from South Korea, the U.S. and Japan gathered here Wednesday to discuss how to respond to North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, as President Donald Trump is preparing to visit Northeast Asia.

“With the dire situation on and around the Korean Peninsula, it is very timely and appropriate for us to have a trilateral meeting,” said Lee Do-hoon, South Korea’s special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs. “I look forward to having a very in-depth discussion on what’s going on around the Korean Peninsula.”

He was speaking at the start of a trilateral meeting with his American and Japanese counterparts – Joseph Yun and Kenji Kanasugi.

The U.S. diplomat agreed that the current situations surrounding North Korea’s nuclear ambitions are “very serious.”

“We are in a very serious situation and we had a good discussion at the vice ministerial level,” Yun said, referring to the trilateral meeting by their nations’ vice foreign ministers held earlier in the day.

“And we are very much looking forward to a very high level of engagement,” he added.

The meeting came weeks ahead of Trump’s visit to South Korea and Japan. As part of his trip to Asia, Trump plans to visit Seoul on Nov. 7-8 following a three-day visit to Tokyo.

Tensions have heightened amid North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests and exchanges of inflammatory rhetoric between Trump and the North Korean leadership.

In a text message sent to reporters to share the outcome of the discussion, the foreign ministry here said that the three reaffirmed their shared objective of a “complete” and “peaceful” denuclearization of North Korea.

They also echoed the importance of the stable management of security situations on the Korean Peninsula and shared the view that it is more important than anything else for the North to stay away from any provocative behaviours in order to create an environment for talks.

They also agreed to keep applying powerful pressure on the North through close coordination among the three countries, the ministry added.

Source: Ghana News Agency