TOKYO (Sputnik) — Seoul, Tokyo, and Washington agreed to step up cooperation to pressure Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear and weapons program, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said a statement obtained by Sputnik on Friday, hours after another North Korean missile launch over Japan.
The agreement has been reached in talks between the countries' special representatives for North Korea, Kenji Kanasugi, the director general of the Japanese ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, Joseph Yun, the US State Department's deputy assistant secretary for Korea and Japan, and Kim Hong-kyun, the South Korean Foreign Ministry's special representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs.
"The parties have reached consensus on inadmissibility of the continued North Korean provocations and on the necessity to take strong measures over the latest [missile] launch. Above all, the parties agreed to closely cooperate in the formats: Japan-US, Japan-South Korea, Japan-US-South Korea, in order to impose pressure [on Pyongyang] of the new unprecedented level, as it is necessary to make North Korea change its policies," the statement said.
Foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea, Taro Kono and Kang Kyung-wha, respectively, discussed in a phone call on Friday Pyongyang’s missile launch, the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s press service said in a statement.
"Minister Kono stressed the need to increase the international community’s pressure on North Korea to make North Korea change its course," the statement said.
Minister Kang, in her turn, said the South Korean authorities would "continue to put pressure on North Korea and cooperate closely with Japan and the United States."
The North fired what appears to be a medium-range ballistic missile far out into the Pacific on Friday morning. The missile flew over Japan. Following the North's missile test, South Korea, Japan and the United States called for an emergency UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting for this afternoon.
South Korea has already reacted to the issue by firing two Hyunmoo-2 missiles from a site near the inter-Korean border six minutes after Pyongyang's shot. One of Seoul's missiles "accurately hit" a simulated target in the East Sea some 250 kilometers away, according to a Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) official. The other fell into water during the initial stage of the flight.
The South Korean Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff reports that American and South Korean personnel are currently investigating the details of the launch.
The new North Korean missile launch came just days after the UN Security Council approved sanctions against Pyongyang over its missile and nuclear program. On September 3, the North conducted it's most powerful ever nuclear test, which many believe to be an H-bomb.