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Secretary Antony J. Blinken With Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa And Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Park Jin Remarks to the Press

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  I think, as you know, the DPRK once again launched a ballistic missile – this one apparently falling in the exclusive economic zone of Japan.  That’s happened before in recent months, but this is yet again a provocative act by North Korea in violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions.  We call on others to condemn this action, to take appropriate steps, including the effective enforcement of sanctions, and countries that have influence with North Korea should use it to try to move it from the course that it’s been on now for the last couple of years.

We met earlier this morning with G7 colleagues and discussed this.  We’ve been talking throughout the day.  And I would say simply two things.  First, we’ve made clear over many, many months that we were prepared to engage with North Korea without any preconditions.  The response from North Korea has been missile launch after missile launch.  We have been very clear that our commitment to the security of our close allies and partners – South Korea and Japan – is ironclad.  And beyond making that clear, we have been working very closely together in full coordination to take appropriate steps to strengthen even more our deterrence and defense capacity.

And so the result of these actions by North Korea is simply to even further solidify the work that we do together, the alliance that we share, and our commitment to the defense of our partners and allies.

FOREIGN MINISTER HAYASHI:  Thank you.  Thank you, Tony, for hosting this trilateral (inaudible).  And let me say the ICBM (inaudible) missile launched by North Korea today landed within our – Japan’s – EEZ.  The range of today’s ICBM could cover the entire continent of the United States.  This is an outrageous act which, as colleagues (inaudible) provocation against the international community.  Such act is absolutely unacceptable.  It is a clear violation of the UN Security Council resolutions, and the international community must be united and take resolute response.

At the G7 foreign ministers meeting, which I chaired earlier today, like Tony mentioned, the G7 members condemned today’s launch in the strongest terms and agreed to take a robust response, including at the UN Security Council.  So let our three countries work closely together in responding to North Korea’s provocations, including through trilateral security cooperation which aims to enhance deterrence (inaudible).  Thank you.

FOREIGN MINISTER PARK:  Thank you, Tony, for hosting this trilateral meeting.  My government condemns in the strongest terms North Korea’s long-range ballistic missile launch today.  It is a serious provocation that violates multiple UN Security Council resolutions and escalates tensions on the Korean Peninsula, in the region, and beyond.  The peace of the Korean Peninsula can only be maintained through strong deterrence and strong, resolute will.  The three of us stand here today to demonstrate our unity and unwavering resolve in the face of North Korea’s escalating threat.  ROK-U.S. alliance will be ironclad, extended deterrence will be strengthened, and ROK-U.S.-Japan security cooperation will be deepened.  North Korea will face more severe sanctions by the international community.  Pyongyang will gain nothing from its provocations.  We urge Pyongyang to immediately cease all provocations and return to denuclearization talks.



Official news published at https://www.state.gov/secretary-antony-j-blinken-with-japanese-foreign-minister-hayashi-yoshimasa-and-republic-of-korea-foreign-minister-park-jin-remarks-to-the-press/

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