South Korea, the United States and Japan condemned North Korea's recent firing of a ballistic missile in the strongest terms and emphasized Pyongyang must abandon its nuclear and missile programs in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner.
The joint statement was issued on Thursday by South Korea's foreign minister Yun Byung-se, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Japan's foreign minister Fumio Kishida following their discussion on the sidelines of the G20 foreign ministers' meeting in the German city of Bonn.
"Seoul, Washington and Tokyo condemn North Korea's recent provocation in the strongest possible terms."
The top diplomats also agreed to hold a trilateral meeting among their top nuclear envoys in the coming days regarding the threats posed by the North.
In a separate meeting between Minister Yun and Secretary of State Tillerson, both agreed to draw up response measures under the assumption North Korea is in the final stages of nuclear armament. and they reportedly discussed ways to bring about more active participation from China in dealing with Pyongyang.
South Korea's back-to-back meetings with the U.S. are evaluated to be positive by many analysts in Seoul as they hinted the new Trump administration's policy on North Korea to be largely similar to its predecessor.
"Overall this was a positive meeting where both ministerial level officials from those countries were able to reaffirm their commitments to the alliance.// It has largely been on the same line that the Obama administration has maintained with regards to the United States commitment to the alliance and to the region."
"During his stay in Germany, Minister Yun will continue his diplomatic efforts through a series of one-on-one meetings with his counterparts from Japan and China. Their discussions are expected to focus on the recently erected statue commemorating the victims of Japan's wartime sexual slavery and the deployment of the U.S. missile system THAAD.
Connie Kim, Arirang News."