Japan’s defense chief calls for closer cooperation with US over North Korea

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TOKYO, August 17. /TASS/. Japan and the United States should work together to strengthen their alliance and ensure coordination at all level over the situation around North Korea, Japan’s according to Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, who along with Foreign Minister Taro Kono met in Washington with US National Security Adviser Herbert McMaster.

“Defense Minister Onodera stated that, on urgent North Korean issues, there is a need to avoid contingency situations and Japan and the U.S. must work together to take thorough measures. Following the current situation, he also mentioned that Japan has developed its BMD posture and he wanted to ensure closer communication at all levels,» the Japanese foreign ministry said in a press statement on Thursday.

The foreign minister stressed that “it is important to deter North Korea from its continued provocative statements and actions” and called on Russia and China to play a bigger role, including in what concerns the implementation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Participants in the meeting “shared the view that now is the time for the international community to work together to increase the pressure on North Korea,” the ministry said.

The Japanese foreign and defense ministers arrived in Washington to take part in a meeting of the Security Consultative Committee in the 2+2 format. The latest such talks were held in April 2015. The upcoming meeting is expected to focus on the situation around North Korea’s nuclear missile program.

The situation in the Korean Peninsula remains extremely tense amid Pyongyang’s vigorous effort to develop a missile program.

In July, North Korea made two test launches of ballistic missiles that provoked sharp reaction from the United States, Japan and South Korea. Washington has repeatedly said that it doesn’t rule out any scenario of dealing with the North Korean nuclear problem, including a military one.

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