Washington/Tokyo/Seoul: Senior security officials from Japan, the United States and South Korea on Monday night Washington time discussed “robust” responses to North Korea’s latest ballistic missile launch over Japan, according to a statement released by a U.S. National Security Council spokesperson.
The statement said that U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan held telephone talks respectively with Takeo Akiba, secretary-general of Japan’s National Security Secretariat, and South Korean National Security Office Director Kim Sung-han, and that they “consulted on appropriate and robust joint and international responses.”
North Korea’s missile launch over Japan on Tuesday morning local time is “destabilizing” and shows North Korea’s “blatant disregard for United Nations Security Council resolutions,” the statement said.
Sullivan told Akiba and Kim that the United States will continue its efforts to limit North Korea’s ability to advance its nuclear and missile development programs, including with allies and U.N. partners, according to the statement.
Meeting in Tokyo on Tuesday, Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada and Adm. John Aquilino, commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, agreed that their countries will work together to deal with the missile launch.
In the meeting, Hamada stressed that the security environment surrounding Japan is growing in severity and that the Japan-U.S. alliance is becoming important.
Aquilino strongly condemned the missile launch and said that such an act destabilizes the region.
Following the latest North Korean missile launch, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol instructed related officials to hold discussions to enhance the level of security cooperation among Japan, the United States and South Korea.
South Korea cannot overlook provocative acts and North Korea will pay the price, the South Korean presidential office said, vowing to seek ways to impose stricter sanctions on Pyongyang in cooperation with the international community.
Meanwhile, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific Daniel Kritenbrink said in an online meeting on Monday Washington time that the missile launch was regrettable.
In the meeting, he stressed that the U.S. commitments to the defense of Japan and South Korea are unwavering and called for North Korea to hold a dialogue with the United States to stabilize the region and resolve the issue of Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear development programs.
Senior Japanese, U.S. and South Korean diplomatic officials in charge of North Korean affairs confirmed in telephone talks that their countries will work closely together and urged North Korea to stop its provocative acts immediately.