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Friday, April 17, 2009

Nakasone, Yu maintain focus on staying engaged with North


Staff writer

Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone and South Korean counterpart Yu Myung Hwan agreed Thursday to take North Korea's latest threats in stride, saying members of the six-party denuclearization talks should continue to focus on defanging the hermit state.

During their meeting in Tokyo, Nakasone said the U.N. Security Council's statement against North Korea's rocket launch expressed the "unified voice of the international community against the act."

Although Pyongyang reacted to the statement by expelling all inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency from the country, Yu expressed gratitude for the role Japan played as a member of the UNSC and affirmed that Seoul will continue to collaborate with Tokyo and Washington on the issue.

Yu also told Nakasone that the abduction issue should be resolved within the framework of the six-party denuclearization talks, a Foreign Ministry official said.

Nakasone and Yu have been in close touch since North Korea launched what it claimed was a rocket carrying a satellite on April 5. Japan, South Korea and the United States condemned the launch as a missile test, and the UNSC's reprimand prompted Pyongyang to withdraw from the prolonged talks.

"Its favorable that the two countries have remained in close contact," Nakasone said at the meeting. Yu replied that it is "a sign that there are many difficult tasks to be resolved."

The South Korean minister, in Tokyo to attend an international meeting of donors to Pakistan taking place Friday, also spoke with Nakasone about helping Pakistan. Yu said Seoul will do what it can to aid the strife-torn state.



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