Japan, US, S. Korea to work for strong warning to N. Korea
Elaine Kurtenbach (Associated Press) - January 16, 2016 - 12:52pm

TOKYO — Senior diplomats from the US, Japan and South Korea concurred yesterday on the need for a strong response in the UN Security Council to North Korea's recent nuclear test.

US Assistant Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Japanese and South Korean counterparts said yesterday that a failure to send a clear message would risk further provocations by Pyongyang.

"The failure to take significant measures now almost guarantees North Korea will continue to repeat these moves," Blinken said. "It's the opposite of what we seek in the region."

The three said they agreed on the need for early adoption of the strongest resolution possible. But they did not give specifics of their talks, saying the discussions on a UN resolution were ongoing.

"If it's not resolved now, in coming years we may have to pay a higher price and therefore we need a clear message," said Lim Sung-nam, South Korea's first vice minister of foreign affairs.

All three said they were hoping that China, the North's closest ally and chief source of aid, would also work for a strong resolution.

North Korea is urging the world community to accept it as a nuclear power. Pyongyang has said it could stop nuclear tests in exchange for the US scrapping joint military drills with South Korea. It also is calling for a peace treaty with the US, echoing demands that were rejected by Washington in the past.

Blinken chastised North Korea for the "flaunting of its international obligations."

"It has repeatedly rejected our engagement offers," Blinken told reporters. "It's hard to take any of their overtures seriously, especially in the wake of their nuclear test."

ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE ANTONY BLINKEN BLINKEN JAPAN AND SOUTH KOREA JAPANESE AND SOUTH KOREAN KOREA LIM SUNG NORTH NORTH KOREA QUOT SECURITY COUNCIL SOUTH KOREA
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