After the rogue country conducted tests on Saturday and Sunday, special envoys from the United States and South Korea met with their Japanese counterparts in Tokyo on Tuesday to discuss North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Kim Sung and South Korea’s Special Representative for Peace and Security on the Korean Peninsula, Lu Kuide, and Japan’s Director-General for Asia and Oceania Affairs Takehiro Funakoshi held talks with North Korea on how to resolve this issue.
North Korean state media confirmed that the country tested “newly developed long-range cruise missiles” on Saturday and Sunday. The flight altitude of cruise missiles is relatively low and can be guided in flight. This allows them to fly under or around the missile defense radar.
Analysts say these missiles are visually similar to the American Tomahawk, which is a nuclear-capable cruise missile with a range of approximately 1,600 kilometers. North Korea hinted that the missile has nuclear capability, but it is not clear whether North Korea has a sufficiently small nuclear warhead mounted on it.
In any case, these missiles represent another lethal component of North Korea’s arsenal, which has expanded significantly since the resumption of major weapons testing in 2019.
When the three special envoys addressed reporters before the meeting, Kim Jong-un said that recent incidents in North Korea remind people of the importance of close communication and cooperation between Japan, North Korea and the United States.
Noh agreed, saying that it is good for the three representatives to have a candid discussion on how to “engage with North Korea based on our common understanding of the urgency of denuclearization.”
In recent comments, Kim has stated that Washington is open to diplomacy to resolve the North Korean issue.
So far, Pyongyang has rejected these proposals, saying that the United States has not changed anything, citing issues such as continued sanctions and joint military exercises with South Korea.
Part of the information in this report is provided by the Associated Press, Reuters, and AFP.