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Wednesday, September 14, 2016, 15:05

Kerry to meet Japan, ROK ministers on DPRK

By Reuters

Kerry to meet Japan, ROK ministers on DPRK
US Secretary of State John Kerry gestures during a press conference closing meetings to discuss the Syrian crisis on Sept 9, 2016, in Geneva. The Republic of Korea (ROK) said on Wednesday that Kerry will meet with his Japanese and ROK counterparts in New York on Sunday to discuss responses to the latest nuclear test by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. (Fabrice Coffrini / AFP)

SEOUL/BEIJING – US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with his Japanese and Republic of Korea (ROK) counterparts in New York on Sunday to discuss responses to the latest nuclear test by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), according to ROK foreign ministry.

The three countries are pushing for tough new UN Security Council sanctions on the DPRK after the isolated country on Friday conducted its fifth and largest nuclear test.

The blast was in defiance of UN sanctions that were tightened in March.

China backed the March UN resolution.

The ROK said Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and his counterparts Kerry and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida will meet during the annual UN General Assembly to discuss putting further pressure on the DPRK.

Kerry to meet Japan, ROK ministers on DPRK

A woman looks at a TV screen showing a file image of Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) leader Kim Jong Un during a news program on the DPRK’s nuclear test, in Tokyo, Sept 9, 2016. The DPRK said on Friday that it conducted a "higher level" nuclear warhead test explosion, which it trumpeted as finally allowing it to build "at will" an array of stronger, smaller and lighter nuclear weapons (Koji Sasahara / AP)

TESTING TIMES

The DPRK has been testing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles at an unprecedented rate this year under young leader Kim Jong Un.

On Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke with Yun by phone, expressing Beijing's opposition to the DPRK’s latest nuclear test but also reiterating opposition to the planned deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THADD) anti-missile system in the ROK, China's foreign ministry said.

China and Russia have pushed for a resumption of six party talks on denuclearization in the DPRK. The talks, which also involve Japan, the ROK and the US, have been on hold since 2008.

Washington has said it is willing to negotiate with the DPRK if it the country commits to denuclearization, which Pyongyang has refused to do.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will seek Cuba's help in responding to the DPRK’s nuclear and missile programs during a rare visit to Havana next week, a spokesman said.

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