Officials from the US and Japan have met in Washington to discuss the threat from North Korea.
Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera and Foreign Minister Taro Kono along with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defence Secretary James Mattis agreed to work more closely together as fears grow over North Korea’s nuclear capabilities.
Tillerson said: “We agreed to bolster our alliance capabilities to deter and respond to North Korea’s unacceptable behavior and other challenges to regional security.”
Tillerson said the US is kean to initiate a meaningful dialogue with Pyongyang, and made clear his belief that diplomacy must be backed up with military options.
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said: “On North Korea, with regards to its denuclearization, we agreed we would ramp up effective pressure. We will call on China to take specific measures to make North Korea change its behavior. On the threat of ballistic missiles, as an alliance, we will strengthen our defense and capabilities to respond. We have agreed on this point.”
Tensions in East Asia remain high following months of missile testing in North Korea.
The secretive regime threatened to strike the US pacific territory of Guam last week, but leader Kim Jong-Un appears to have decided to hold off on his plans for the time being.