Japan Condemns N. Korea Missile Launch in Joint Statement with 3 Nations

Pool Photo via AP
From left, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol attend a meeting of the North Atlantic Council with Partner Nations in Vilnius on Wednesday.

VILNIUS — Prime Minister Fumio Kishida issued a joint statement with the leaders of South Korea, Australia and New Zealand calling on North Korea to cease its provocative actions, at a four-nation summit held in Vilnius on Wednesday.

China and Russia have opposed additional U.N. Security Council sanctions against North Korea, which has repeatedly launched missiles, preventing UNSC members from taking unanimous action. Japan hopes to increase the pressure on North Korea by thoroughly implementing sanctions and other measures in step with like-minded countries such as Australia.

On May 27, Kishida revealed his intention to hold high-level talks with North Korea, directly under the prime minister’s control, to resolve the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea. However, some in the government believe that the latest missile launch and Kishida’s response will have an impact on future talks with North Korea.

A government official said, “It will be difficult to find a way into dialogue, as [the government] will likely have to call for increased pressure [on North Korea] for the time being.”