US, South Korea urge i'ntl push to curb North Korean nuclear programme

The national security advisers of the United States, South Korea and Japan called Saturday for stronger international pressure to suppress North Korea's development of nuclear weapons and missiles and its military cooperation with other countries, amid concerns over the alleged arms transfers to Russia.

The meeting in Seoul came at a time when tensions on the Korean Peninsula are at their highest in years, with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un accelerating the expansion of his nuclear weapons and missile programs and flaunting an escalating nuclear doctrine that allows preventive use of nuclear weapons.

The United States and its Asian allies have responded by increasing the visibility of their trilateral security cooperation in the region and strengthening their combined military exercises, which Kim condemns as invasion rehearsals.

At a joint news conference after the meeting, Cho said the three security advisers reaffirmed North Korea's obligations under multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions calling for the country's denuclearization and banning any arms trade with other countries.

We agreed to strengthen coordination among the three countries to ensure the international community's strict implementation of UN Security Council resolutions, Cho said.

Cho said the three also highly praised South Korea, the US, Japan and Australia when they announced their own sanctions against North Korea over the launch of its spy satellite last month. North Korea claims it has the right to launch spy satellites to monitor U.S. and South Korean military activities and increase the threat from its nuclear missiles.

Washington, Seoul and Tokyo have also expressed concerns about a possible arms coordination between North Korea and Russia. They are concerned that Kim is providing much-needed ammunition to help Russian President Vladimir Putin wage war in Ukraine in exchange for Russian technological help to upgrade his nuclear-armed military.

After the meeting, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Washington is working with Seoul and Tokyo to strengthen defense cooperation. He said they are also trying to improve the response to North Korean missile tests and space launch activities, including a real-time information sharing arrangement on North Korean missile launches that the countries plan to launch in December.

Sullivan said the countries will also respond to North Korean cybercrime, cryptocurrency money laundering and other efforts to circumvent U.S.-led international sanctions aimed at choking off funds going to its nuclear weapons and missile programs.

When it comes to North Korea, we are keeping our eye on the ball because the country continues to pose a threat to international peace and security and regional peace and security, Sullivan said, using the initials of North's formal name – Korea, the Democratic People's Republic. of Korea.

Sullivan held separate bilateral talks on Friday with the director of South Korea's national security bureau, Cho Tae-yong, and the secretary-general of Japan's National Security Secretariat, Takeo Akiba.

Sullivan also met with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol.

At a dinner reception for Sullivan and Akiba on Friday, Yoon said it is critical that the three countries continue to build on his August summit with U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at Camp David, where they pledged to enhance security and deepen economic cooperation. .

South Korea's presidential office said Sullivan expressed support for the South's recent decision to partially abrogate a 2018 inter-Korean military agreement on easing border tensions, which had established border buffers and no-fly zones aprons, to strengthen the North's frontline surveillance.

During their one-on-one meeting Friday, Cho and Akiba discussed building broader international solidarity in dealing with North Korea's nuclear and missile programs. They said it poses a threat not only to the Korean Peninsula but also to the regional and international community as a whole, Seoul said.

The US, South Korean and Japanese national security advisers last held a trilateral meeting in Tokyo in June.

The talks between national security advisers in Seoul came after U.S., South Korean and Japanese nuclear envoys met in Tokyo for separate talks on North Korea.

The nuclear envoys shared their assessments of North Korea's recent satellite launch and weapons development and discussed ways to more effectively respond to North Korea's cybertheft activities and other illegal attempts to circumvent US-led international sanctions and finance its weapons program. the foreign ministries said.

South Korean intelligence officials have said the Russians likely provided technological support for North Korea's successful satellite launch in November, which followed two failed launches.

North Korea has said its spy satellite is broadcasting images with space views of key locations in the US and South Korea, including the White House and the Pentagon. But it hasn't released any of those satellite photos. Many outside experts question whether the North's satellite is advanced enough to transmit high-resolution, militarily useful images.

Kim has pledged to launch more satellites and says his military must acquire space reconnaissance capabilities.

South Korean intelligence and military officials have said North Korea may have sent more than a million artillery shells to Russia starting in August, weeks before Kim traveled to Russia's Far East for a rare summit with Putin that raised international concerns about a possible arms deal. Both Moscow and Pyongyang have denied US and South Korean claims about the alleged arms transfers.

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