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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

People's Daily Online

Top negotiators of S.Korea, U.S., Japan to gather for DPRK nuke talks

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 10:11, May 22, 2015

SEOUL, May 22 -- Top nuclear delegates of South Korea, the United States and Japan will meet in Seoul for two days from May 26 to discuss the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) 's nuclear program, Seoul's foreign ministry said Friday.

The meeting comes after the DPRK said Wednesday that the means of its nuclear strikes entered the phase of miniaturization and diversification a long time ago.

The negotiators, representing three countries in the six-party talks to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, would share assessments of recent situations and threats from the DPRK, the South Korean foreign ministry said in a statement.

The senior diplomats would also have in-depth consultations on various ways to make substantive progress in the DPRK's nuclear issues at all levels, including deterrence, pressure and dialogue, the ministry said.

The negotiators would involve Hwang Joon-kook, South Korea's special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs along with Sung Kim, U.S. special representative for the DPRK policy and Junichi Ihara, Japan's director-general of the foreign ministry's Asian and Oceanian affairs bureau.

The aid-for-disarmament talks, including South Korea, the DPRK, China, the United States, Russia and Japan, were initiated in August 2003 but have stalled since December 2008.

The meeting among the three parties would come amid rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula after the DPRK's National Defense Commission said Wednesday that it had long had a capability of miniaturizing and diversifying nuclear warheads to mount them onto ballistic missiles.

The commission also said that the DPRK's short- and medium- range rockets as well as long-range rockets entered the phase of securing the highest accuracy rate.

Pyongyang said on May 9 that it had successfully test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), causing backlashes and concerns from Seoul, Washington and Tokyo as the three nations claimed that the test-launch was in violation of UN resolutions banning the DPRK from conducting any launch based on ballistic missile technology.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who visited Seoul for two days through Monday, indicated additional sanctions on the DPRK for the SLBM launch, and the United States, South Korea and Japan are reportedly seeking to take UN-level actions.

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