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Japanese, US, South Korean senior diplomats to meet in Tokyo Jan 16

January 12, 19:20 UTC+3 TOKYO
The diplomats will discuss responses to North Korea's fourth nuclear test
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US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken

US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken

© AP Photo/Hasan Jamali

TOKYO, January 12. /TASS/. A trilateral meeting at the level of deputy foreign ministers of Japan, the United States and South Korea that will focus on the nuclear test conducted by North Korea (DPRK) last week will be held in the Japanese capital on January 16, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said on Tuesday.

Senior diplomats from Japan, the United States and South Korea will meet this weekend in Tokyo to discuss responses to North Korea's fourth nuclear test, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said Tuesday, according to the Kyodo news agency. "The idea is to confirm close trilateral cooperation in dealing with North Korea," Kishida told reporters.

Japan is expected to be represented at the meeting Saturday by Vice Foreign Minister Akitaka Saiki, the United States by Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken and South Korea by Lim Sung Nam, first vice minister of foreign affairs. Ahead of the meeting, the countries' chief delegates to the six-party talks to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, which have been deadlocked since late 2008, are slated to meet Wednesday in Seoul. The other parties are China and Russia.

Kishida also welcomed the US military's dispatch Sunday of a nuclear-capable B-52 bomber on a flight over South Korea in an apparent show of force to North Korea. "(The dispatch) reflects the United States' strong commitment to fulfill its role toward peace and stability of the region," he said.

The DPRK authorities announced on January 6 that the country carried out a successful test of a hydrogen bomb. The country’s government said in a statement circulated by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) that the test had had "no adverse impact on the environmental situation." Now, according to the statement, North Korea "possesses the strongest deterrent forces."

Following the H-bomb test, which the North Korean authorities and media describe as a successful one, the Pyongyang newspapers are leveling sharp criticism at the US Administration to sign a peace treaty with the DPRK and Washington's decision to redeploy a B-52 strategic bomber from the US airbase on Guam to South Korea.

Rodong Sinmun daily of the Korean Workers' Party said in a comment on Tuesday the US was using an alleged North Korean threat for the implementation of its strategic objectives in the Asia-Pacific region. One of the objectives was to counteract the growing influence of China and Russia in North-East Asia, it said.

Staff members of the humanitarian organizations working in Pyongyang are discussing the knotty situation on the Korean Peninsula at process meetings. They point out, among other things, a possibility of considerable cuts in the programmes related to North Korea by donor countries and international humanitarian agencies after the fourth nuclear test.

In the wake of a deterioration of tensions in Korea, the DPRK Foreign Ministry offered foreign embassies including the Russian embassy and international organizations to leave the country in April 2013 but foreign diplomats and humanitarian officials refused to do it in spite of the warning.

North Korea previously conducted three nuclear tests: in 2006, in 2009 and in 2013. Following these tests, the United Nations Security Council, as well as the United States, Japan and South Korea on a bilateral basis introduced a variety of sanctions against Pyongyang.

The deputies of the upper house of the Japanese parliament for their part have adopted a resolution condemning the North Korean nuclear test. The document says that Pyongyang's actions defy the international community's efforts aimed at non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and are totally unacceptable for Japan, which has suffered from atomic bombings.

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