Dealing with North Korea's Provocations

Sep 25, 2016

On September 18, the Foreign Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and the Republic of Korea's Foreign Minister Yun Byung-Se held a meeting in New York on the side-lines of the U.N. General Assembly to discuss their countries' coordinated response to North Korea's most recent nuclear test and its other recent and repeated missile-related provocations.

In a joint statement after the meeting, the three top diplomats said that North Korea's “flagrant disregard for multiple United Nations Security Council Resolutions expressly prohibiting its ballistic missile and nuclear programs requires even stronger international pressure on the regime. North Korea's provocative actions are further deepening its isolation and undermining the need of its people who suffer greatly at the hands of the regime. In this regard, the three countries are working closely with partners at the United Nations and in other fora to pressure the DPRK.”

In remarks to the press in the company of the two foreign ministers, Secretary of State John Kerry said that “the United States remains deeply committed to our treaty obligations, to our mutual defense obligations, and to rolling back, the provocative, reckless behavior of the DPRK.”

Referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a “reckless dictator,” Mr. Kerry declared that “the global community will not be intimidated and will not pull back from our obligations under the nonproliferation treaty and all of our international efforts to rein in nuclear weapons rather than see them proliferate.”

Secretary Kerry said the United States is prepared to sit down with North Korea to deal with issues of peace on the Korean Peninsula, ending the DPRK's isolation and attracting economic development, as long as North Korea is prepared to honor its international obligations and previous commitments to denuclearization. The immediate need for the North Korean leadership, he said, is “for them to...not engage in any more provocative actions, not engage in more testing particularly, in order to bring countries together and to begin a serious negotiation about the future.”

The joint statement from the meeting also noted the “positive role” that the United States, Japan, and the Republic of Korea are playing to “promote regional peace and stability and address global challenges.”