Japan’s Defence Minister and his US counterpart have affirmed the close coordination between the two countries as international pressure increases on North Korea.
What did they do?
Itsunori Onodera and Jim Mattis talked by telephone on Thursday after Pyongyang’s launch of a ballistic missile on Tuesday, which flew over Japan before landing in the Pacific Ocean.
What did they say?
Onodera said the launch poses a serious, different level of threat than anything up to now for Japan’s security. He said Japan and the US need to cooperate closely.
“The basis of a settlement with the North is through diplomatic efforts but we agreed on the importance of continuing to put pressure on Pyongyang through close defence coordination,” Onodera told reporters.
Mattis affirmed the position. He and Onodera confirmed that the two countries will share information at all levels and also apply more tangible pressure by carrying out joint drills.
They also discussed a missile defence system. Onodera sought support for Japan’s plan to introduce a new US missile interceptor system known as “Aegis Ashore”.
What they are saying
After the telephone conversation, Onodera told reporters that the basis of a settlement with the North is through diplomatic efforts.
He said they agreed on the importance of continuing to put pressure on Pyongyang through close defence coordination.
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have confirmed that the two countries will consider concrete measures to discourage North Korea from bringing about further provocations.
Also speaking on the telephone on Thursday, they agreed to step up pressure on the North to prevent the next “act of provocation” from happening.
They discussed how to adopt in concrete terms a new UN Security Council resolution that imposes tougher sanctions on North Korea.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Donald Trump confirmed they see eye-to-eye in dealing with North Korea during a phone call on Wednesday evening.