Australia, Japan to keep denuclearization pressure on North Korea

Australia, Japan to keep denuclearization pressure on North Korea 

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo walks out of the West Wing to deliver remarks to members of the news media on his recent trip to North Korea and his appreciation for outgoing US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, at the White House in Washington, DC, USA, Oct. 09, 2018. EPA-EFE/FILE/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

Sydney, Australia, Oct 10 (efe-epa).- Australia and Japan on Wednesday agreed to retain pressure on North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

The agreement was adopted during talks between Australian foreign minister Marise Payne, defense minister Christopher Pyne and their Japanese counterparts Taro Kono and Takeshi Iwaya in Sydney.

In a statement, the ministers hailed the diplomatic breakthroughs achieved earlier in the year in inter-Korean summits and the Singapore summit between North Korea and the United States and called them positive steps toward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The agreement between the two countries – close allies of the US – follows US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s meeting on Sunday with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang, to discuss details of a second summit between the two countries.

Meanwhile, on Oct. 1, the two Koreas began to jointly remove mines in the Demilitarized Zone, which divides the two countries, under the framework of agreements signed during the summit that was held between Sep. 18 and Sep. 20.

During Wednesday’s talks the ministers also discussed ways to develop the Special Strategic Partnership agreement, improve communications in the Asia-Pacific region and free navigation in the South China Sea.