TOKYO, April 8 (Itar-Tass) — Beijing, Tokyo and Seoul intend to request North Korea up to the last moment to dump a missile launch with a satellite, schedule for the next week.
This stand was confirmed on Sunday by the foreign ministers of China, Japan and South Korea at a tripartite meeting in the Chinese city of Ningbo.
“It’s important now that China, Japan and the Republic of Korea come out from a common stand with respect to the DPRK’s plans,” noted Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba by the results of talks.
South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Kim Sung-hwan stated that “the DPRK should heed the voice of the international community and dump a blast-off”. Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi also confirmed earlier at bilateral talks with his Japanese and South Korean colleagues that Beijing favours cancellation of the launching of a North Korean missile.
The sides also discussed possible actions at the talks in Ningbo if Pyongyang goes on with its plans.
North Korea announced that the lift-off of a long-range missile with a satellite would take place between April 12 and 16 on the occasion of the 100th birth date of the country’s founder Kim Il-Sung. According to a flight chart, submitted by Pyongyang, the first stage of the missile will drop off the western coast of South Korea, while the second – east of the main Philippine island of Luzon.
Japanese Defence Minister Naoki Tanaka issued an order to national forces of self-defence to down the North Korean missile if it or its fragments present a threat to the country’s territory.