U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy Joseph Yun, Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director-General of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau Kenji Kanasugi, and Republic of Korea (R.O.K.) Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Kim Hong-kyun met in Washington to discuss the situation in North Korea, following on the February 16 trilateral Ministerial discussion in Bonn, Germany. The three officials expressed their joint view that North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs directly threaten the security of the R.O.K., Japan, and the United States. They also noted that North Korea’s flagrant disregard for multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions prohibiting its ballistic missile and nuclear programs requires strong international pressure on the regime. Special Representative Yun reiterated that the United States remains steadfast in its defense commitments to the R.O.K. and Japan, including the commitment to provide extended deterrence.
Following on the February 16 trilateral Ministerial discussion in Bonn, Germany, the officials explored a joint way forward toward the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of North Korea. In this regard, the officials discussed cooperative efforts to ensure that all countries fully and effectively implement their obligations under UN Security Council Resolutions 2270 and 2321, which imposed robust and comprehensive sanctions on North Korea to inhibit its campaign to develop operational nuclear and missile capabilities. The officials considered other possible measures under national authorities, including means to restrict further the revenue sources for North Korea’s weapons programs, particularly illicit activities. The officials discussed the violations of human rights in North Korea, and reaffirmed the importance of an early resolution of the abductions issue as well as a resumption of reunions of separated families. The officials also committed to strengthen their governments’ efforts to enhance trilateral security cooperation in responding to North Korea’s threats, uphold the global nonproliferation regime, and lead the international response to any further violations by North Korea.