Envoys from Japan, the United States and South Korea on Wednesday agreed to closely cooperate on matters regarding the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's ( DPRK) nuclear capabilities and ambitions.
At the trilateral talks held in Tokyo and chaired by Shinsuke Sugiyama, director general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, each party restated their strong desire and commitment to achieve peace and stability on the Korean Peninsular.
"We reaffirmed the strong solidarity or coordination among Japan, the United States and South Korea" in matters concerning the DPRK, Sugiyama told reporters after the meeting.
Along with his six-party talk counterparts, Glyn Davies, the U. S. special envoy on the DPRK, and Lim Sung Nam, South Korea's chief negotiator to the six-party talks, Sugiyama also said that the ongoing efforts by other nations, including both Russia and China, were indispensable to the overall process.
Similarly, Lim told reporters that all three countries reaffirmed the importance of resolving the DPRK's nuclear issues by way of six-party talk dialogue and that this was essential ahead of presidential elections in both South Korea and the United States.
Lim also highlighted Russia and China's "constructive" roles on the matter.
Sugiyama, Japan's top negotiator in the six-party talks, added that should the DPRK take clear steps towards denucleariztion then other international opportunities would open up to the country.
Today's talks follow a bilateral meeting in Beijing last month between Lim and his Chinese counterpart Wu Dawei, a special representative for Korean Peninsula Affairs, at which it was decided the two sides would keep an eye on Pyongyang's light-water atomic reactor project.
Some nuclear experts have suggested that the project may help the DPRK expand its weapons base and according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the project, currently under a dome according to the satellite imagery provided to the United Nations, has made significant progress.
While the ongoing territorial spat between Japan and South Korea was not mentioned at today's meeting, humanatarian concerns were, with Davies rejecting the DPRK's commentary on Sept. 17 via its official news agency, regarding abduction issues.
"That is the statement that the government of the United States cannot accept," Davies said.
"The issue will never be over until the fate of the abductees has been resolved, till those still alive are brought back to Japan, and the whereabouts, the fate of the others is known. The abductions are very much a lively issue," he said.
All parties agreed Wednesday that the issue needs to be resolved swiftly through further dialogue and concrete actions.
It was also decided during the talks that similar multilateral talks at various levels of seniority should be held as frequently as possible, in the best interests of achieving the parties' overall objectives.
"That's an important moment to put a premium on our consultation and collaboration," Davies was quoted as saying.
Following the conclusion of talks in Tokyo, Davies will make a three-day visit to South Korea from Oct. 18, officials said, to continue talks there.
Japan, the United States and South Korea haven't convened for working level talks since May when they gathered in Seoul.
The six-party talks, which involve the DPRK, South Korea, the United States, China, Russia and Japan, have been stalled since 2008.