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Japan and allies ratchet up diplomatic pressure over N. Korean nuclear, missile programs Updated: 2022-01-21 17:07:43 KST

The governments of the U.S. and Japan have released a joint statement on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, known as the NPT, ahead of a virtual summit between the two countries' leaders on Friday.
The statement says the two countries "are strongly committed to the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement, or CVID, of all nuclear weapons, other weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges of North Korea, as well as related programs and facilities, in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions."
They also urged North Korea to abide by all relevant Security Council resolutions, return at an early date to the NPT, and fully comply with the NPT and International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards."
Instead of the Biden administration's usual "complete denuclearization" to describe its model for North Korean disarmament the phrase "CVID" was used this time, a phrase that has previously upset Pyeongyang.
The escalation in diplomatic language is also notable as it comes a day after Pyeongyang warned it may rethink its moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests.
The joint statement also noted China's ongoing efforts to increase its nuclear capabilities.
The U.S. and Japan requested Beijing to "contribute to arrangements that reduce nuclear risks, increase transparency and advance nuclear disarmament."
Japan and France also expressed concerns over North Korea's weapons development and urged Pyeongyang to take concrete steps to implement the UNSC resolutions.
They released a joint statement after their two-plus-two online meeting held between the two countries' foreign ministers and defense ministers on Thursday.
They reaffirmed their "commitment to the goal of achieving the irreversible and verifiable disposal of all North Korean weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of any range", as well as those objects related to the military program.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.
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