Japan, U.S., S. Korea vow to take 'firm steps' against N Korea's rocket launch programme
Japan, the U.S. and South Korea have reaffirmed their intention to work closely together on how they will respond if North Korea defies international condemnation and launches a long-range rocket, a senior Japanese diplomat has said.
During a trilateral meeting of senior officials at the U.S. State Department, the participants shared their 'strong concern' over the North Korea's planned rocket launch.
They agreed to continue diplomatic efforts 'until the last minute' with the cooperation of China and Russia to dissuade it from conducting the launch, Shinsuke Sugiyama, director general of the Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, told reporters in Washington.
According to the Japan Times, but the three countries also agreed that if Pyongyang goes ahead with the launch, the international community would need to take 'firm steps' against the country.
While Pyongyang announced on Saturday it plans to launch 'an Earth observation satellite' later this month, many countries, including Japan and the United States, suspect it is a covert test of ICBM technology in violation of Security Council resolutions, the report added.