South Korea’s military on Monday fired missiles into the sea to simulate an attack on the North Korea’s main nuclear test site a day after Pyongyang detonated its largest ever nuclear test explosion. (Sept. 4)
Diplomats from the United States, South Korea and Japan met in Seoul on Wednesday to discuss how to respond to North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan said that Washington continues to view diplomacy as the primary means for solving the crisis, but added that the allies must be prepared for “any eventuality.”
“Our objective is, throughout that campaign of pressure, to bring North Korea to the negotiating table without preconditions so that we can achieve our objective of a denuclearized Korean Peninsula,” Sullivan said at a news conference after the meeting.
“Diplomacy is our primary objective and primary means to addressing the threat posed by North Korea. But we need to be prepared to respond to any eventuality given the unpredictable nature of the regime in Pyongyang,” he added.
At a meeting in Tokyo on Tuesday before they travelled to the South Korean capital, Sullivan, Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Shinsuke Sugiyama and South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam vowed to find more ways to apply pressure on Pyongyang.
Reuters reported that Sullivan said in Tokyo that the U.S. would not rule out the possibility of direct talks with North Korea.
The countries’ top envoys will also discuss Wednesday the stalled nuclear disarmament talks with North Korea that also involved China and Russia. The six-party meetings were last held in late 2008.
The talks came as the U.S. and South Korea continued a week of military drills that began Monday in waters off South Korea’s east coast. Pyongyang sees the exercises as rehearsals for invasion.
North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test in September and launched missiles over Japan in August and September. It test-launched two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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