US Secretary of State John Kerry, continuing his regional visits aimed at defusing tensions in the Korean peninsular, has been to Japan.
He met with his opposite number, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, and then renewed his appeal to the North Koreans to return to the talks table.
“Our choice is to move to the table and find the way to the region to have peace. And we will hope that whatever considerations or fears the North has of the USA or others in the region, that they will come to the table in a responsible way and negotiate that”.
Japan has sent a pair of its Aegis missile destroyers into the Sea of Japan to provide additional anti-missile cover, adding to similar deployments in the area announced recently by Washington and a THADD missile defence battery in Guam.
Pyongyang dismissed South Korea and Kerry’s appeal for talks as a “cunning trick”, insisting its nuclear weapons were non-negotiable.
“We should bolster both in quality and quantity the nuclear force, the life of the nation and national treasure of reunified Korea that can never be bartered for anything, and wage a stronger all-out action with the U.S. to cope with the prevailing wartime situation,” said North Korean President Kim Yong-Nam.
He was addressing a gathering of officials and military personnel on the eve of the anniversary of the birth of the nations’ founder Kim Il-Sung.