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Biden, Kishida call for denuclearization of N. Korea, reaffirm cooperation with S. Korea

By Yonhap

Published : Jan. 14, 2023 - 11:04

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US President Joe Biden shakes hands with Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, US, on Friday. (Reuters) US President Joe Biden shakes hands with Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, US, on Friday. (Reuters)

US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida reaffirmed their commitment to completely denuclearize the Korean Peninsula in their bilateral summit held here in Washington on Friday.

The leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to further enhancing trilateral cooperation among their countries and South Korea to that end, according to their joint statement, released by the White House.

"We reaffirm our commitment to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in accordance with United Nations Security Council resolutions,' said the released statement.

"President Biden reaffirms US commitment to the immediate resolution of the abductions issue," it added, referring to the issue of Japanese nationals believed to have been abducted by North Korea decades ago.

Biden and Kishida highlighted the importance of working with other like-minded countries to tackle various challenges facing their countries in the Indo-Pacific region that they said included "provocations by North Korea."

To this end, the two leaders committed to working closely with other U.S. allies and partners in the region, including South Korea.

"We commit to strengthening vital trilateral cooperation among Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the United States, in security and other domains," they said, referring to South Korea by its official name.

The US-Japan summit, the first of its kind since the Japanese leader took office last year, followed the US-Japan Security Consultative Committee meeting held earlier this week in Washington, in which the countries' top diplomats and defense chiefs underscored the importance of trilateral cooperation between South Korea, Japan and the US to counter any potential North Korean aggression.

"In the face of the DPRK's unlawful and reckless missile launches, including the launch of a long range ballistic missile over Japan in October, we are deepening our trilateral cooperation with the Republic of Korea to deter and, if necessary, defend against aggression," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during a joint press briefing that followed the two-plus-two meeting in Washington on Wednesday.

North Korea fired 69 ballistic missiles, including eight intercontinental ballistic missiles, in 2022, setting a new annual record of ballistic missile launches that far exceeded the previous record of 25. (Yonhap)