Special envoys from the United States and South Korea met with their Japanese counterparts in Tokyo on Tuesday to discuss North Korea’s nuclear weapons program following tests by the rogue state on Saturday and Sunday.
Sung Kim, US Special Representative for North Korea, and Noh Kyu-duk, South Korea’s Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs, joined Takehiro Funakoshi, Japan’s Director-General for Asian and Oceanic Affairs, at a meeting on for how to address it. The latest development with North Korea.
North Korea’s state media confirmed that the nation tested “newly developed long-range cruise missiles” on Saturday and Sunday. Cruise missiles fly at relatively low altitudes and can be guided during flight. This allows them to fly under or near missile defense radar.
Analysts say the missiles look similar to the US Tomahawk, a nuclear-capable cruise missile with a range of about 1,600 km. North Korea indicated that the missile is nuclear-capable, although it is unclear whether the North has a nuclear warhead small enough to fit on it.
Regardless, the missiles represent another lethal component in North Korea’s arsenal, which has expanded significantly since the resumption of major weapons testing in 2019.
As the three envoys addressed reporters ahead of their talks, Kim said the recent events in North Korea were a reminder of the importance of closer communication and cooperation between Japan, North Korea and the US.
Noh agreed, saying it was good that the three delegates could have a candid discussion on “how to engage with North Korea based on our shared understanding of the urgency of denuclearization.”
In recent remarks, Kim has indicated that Washington is open to diplomacy in dealing with North Korean issues.
Pyongyang has so far rejected those proposals, saying nothing has changed with the US, citing issues such as ongoing sanctions and joint military exercises with South Korea.
Some information for this report has been obtained from the Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Press.