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Seoul, Tokyo Reconfirm Joint Opposition to NK Nukes

Posted June. 29, 2009 09:29,   


President Lee Myung-bak and Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso yesterday reconfirmed their earlier opposition to North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons, agreeing to closely cooperate on North Korean matter.

In their summit in Tokyo, the two leaders agreed that the parties to the six-way talks except Pyongyang need to cooperate and seek an effective way to ensure the North’s denuclearization.

Japan also agreed to play an active role in convening the proposed five-party talks, and that U.N. member countries need to continuously and faithfully implement U.N. Security Council sanctions against the North.

The leaders also agreed to seek cooperation in nuclear energy, science and technology, and space development. They also said that they hope discussion of a bilateral free trade agreement will proceed in a way that benefits both sides.

President Lee urged Mr. Aso`s active support for granting ethnic Koreans in Japan the right to vote in local elections. Mr. Aso asked Seoul for support in connection with direct inspections of North Korean freight ships going back and forth between Japan and North Korea.

President Lee visited Japan as part of “shuttle diplomacy” yesterday morning. He attended a luncheon with leaders from Mindan, a pro-South Korea group of ethnic Koreans in Japan, a meeting with Japan’s New Komeito Party leader Akihiro Ota, and a dinner hosted by Mr. Aso before returning to Seoul later yesterday evening.