Tokyo and Washington could soon have their relationship tested as never before. Following North Korea’s second missile launch over Japan in a month, top officials from the two nations met for pre-arranged talks that are now likely to focus on a response to Pyongyang’s latest test.
North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has clearly stated the country wants to develop nuclear weapons capable of striking the mainland US. In response Washington has suggested Japan and South Korea should increase arms spending. There is also a question mark over whether or not Tokyo should create its own nuclear arsenal.
Missiles fired from the North towards US territories such as Guam will almost certainly have to pass over Japan.
China, North Korea’s one ally in the region, has condemned the launch, but said it was not responsible for helping to resolve the issue.
“The key to resolving the Korean Peninsula issue is not China’s,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying insisted. “The various, directly-involved parties should take responsibility to handle the situation, carry out their duty. Any attempt to wash their hands of the issue is irresponsible and unhelpful for resolving the issue.”