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After a phone call with South Korean president-elect Yoon Suk-yeol, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters that the two had agreed to stay in contact over North Korea and planned to meet as soon as possible.
These plans align with three-way ties with the United States after North Korea recently allegedly used a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system in two secretive launches, believed by US and South Korean officials to be in preparation for long-range tests.
Kishida says that all diplomatic options, like sanctions, can be utilized to deal with North Korea and that Japan will remain in contact with the US and South Korea for any response.
Through his spokeswoman, Yoon, who won Wednesday’s elections, said he hopes for greater trilateral cooperation on the matter.
Tensions have persisted between Japan and Korea after Japan colonized the Korean peninsula in 1910-1945.
The two have decided to shelf these tensions in the meantime for the sake of establishing and advancing good bilateral ties given the state of world affairs, Kishida said.
Regional security and the economy are among the two countries’ areas of cooperation. Yoon told Kishida that resolving pending bilateral issues is necessary in a “reasonable, mutually beneficial manner.”
Yoon’s spokeswoman also added that the president-elect expressed condolences to the victims of the 2011 earthquake that struck northeastern Japan as it marked its 11th anniversary.