Trilateral Ministerial Meeting
September 18, 2016
Today the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Fumio Kishida, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea, Yun Byung-se, met in New York to ensure that the three countries remain in close coordination in the wake of North Korea’s second nuclear test in eight months and a series of other, ballistic missile-related North Korean provocations over the past six months, and to expand our collaboration. The Ministers noted that the DPRK’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 needs 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. Secretary Kerry reiterated that the United States remains steadfast in its defense commitments to the Republic of Korea and Japan, including the commitment to provide extended deterrence, backed by the full range of its nuclear and conventional defense capabilities.
During the meeting, the Ministers explored ways to work together to ensure that all countries fully and effectively implement all their obligations and commitments under UN Security Council Resolution 2270, which imposed the strongest sanctions ever placed upon North Korea, in response to the DPRK’s accelerated, systematic, and unprecedented campaign to develop an operational nuclear capability. They also discussed the important work currently taking place in the Security Council to further sanction North Korea and considered other possible measures of their own, in particular ways to further restrict revenue sources for the DPRK’s missile and nuclear programs, including through illicit activities. They reaffirmed that they remain open to credible and authentic talks aimed at full and verifiable denuclearization of the DPRK and that they are willing to honor the commitments in the September 19, 2005 Six-Party Talks Joint Statement. They agreed to continue to draw international attention to the systemic, widespread, and gross violations of human rights in North Korea, including the abductions issue.
Lastly, the Ministers noted the positive role that the three countries can play to promote regional peace and stability and address global challenges. Together, the United States, Japan, and the Republic of Korea are tackling some of the world’s toughest problems, from refugees to climate change, from terrorism to global health, and from countering violent extremism to development assistance. The Ministers agreed to continue trilateral cooperation on regional and global issues and find new opportunities for further collaboration.