3-way talks urge North against test

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3-way talks urge North against test

South Korea, the U.S. and Japan yesterday urged North Korea not to engage in another provocation, while pledging closer coordination with China and Russia to lead the recalcitrant regime onto a “different path.”

South Korea’s chief nuclear envoy Lim Sung-nam had a consultation in Seoul with Glyn Davies, U.S. special envoy for North Korea policy and Shinsuke Sugiyama, director-general of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau at Japan’s Foreign Ministry.

It was their first trilateral meeting since the North pushed ahead with a failed rocket launch on April 13. Pyongyang is thought to be preparing for a third nuclear test.

“It would be a serious miscalculation if North Korea engages in a nuclear test,” Davies told reporters after the meeting.

“This new regime in Pyongyang saw the international community was united in reacting to a missile launch on April 13, so they would know that if they engage in another provocation such as a nuclear test, they will once again be subject to united action by the international community.”

Last month, the United Nations Security Council condemned the North’s botched missile test for violating the existing UNSC resolutions in a swift and strong presidential statement and pledged a strong reaction to an additional provocation from the North.

The statement was adopted unanimously among the members, including China and Russia, two of the closest allies of the North.

Davies stressed that China and Russia share a grave concern over additional provocations from the North.

“At the level of the allies, at the level, importantly, of all five partners in the six-party talks, we have the same understanding, the same analysis of the situation,” he said, referring to the stalled multinational talks designed on denuclearizing the North.

Davies, accompanied by other U.S. officials including Clifford Hart, the top envoy on six-party talks, and Jim Zumwalt, deputy assistant secretary of the state, will leave for China today to discuss North Korean matters.

Sugiyama also told reporters that the three allies “completely agreed on the importance of coordination and consultation with other such players like China and Russia, in particular.”

In a separate meeting with reporters, Lim said that a warning message, despite a lack of “newness,” needs to repeatedly be sent to the North to “clearly remind” them of the weight of the situation.

By Moon Gwang-lip [joe@joongang.co.kr]
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