Tokyo: Japan and France on Friday expressed serious concern over the progress in the North Korean nuclear and missile program and urged Pyongyang to take concrete steps to implement the provisions of the UN Security Council resolutions.
On Thursday, Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi and Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoshimasa Hayashi held Japan-France 2+2 online meeting with their French counterparts, Florence Parly and Jean-Yves Le Drian.
The ministers exchanged views on the issues of bilateral security and defense. Following the online talks, a joint statement was released.
"The parties expressed serious concern over the progress of North Korea's nuclear and missile program, in breach of the UN Security Council resolutions. The ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the goal of achieving the irreversible and verifiable disposal of all North Korean weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of any range, as well as those related to the military program objects," the statement said.
The ministers of the two countries also urged Pyongyang to implement targeted policies and take concrete steps to implement the provisions of the UN resolutions.
"The Japanese side also commended France's efforts to monitor North Korea's ship-to-ship transfers of goods. Moreover, the ministers called for a speedy resolution of the issue of abducted [Japanese] nationals," the statement added.
Pyongyang has confirmed it launched on Monday two tactical guided missiles that "precisely hit an island target in the East Sea of Korea." It became its fourth missile test in a month. On the first two occasions, Pyongyang claimed to have successfully tested hypersonic missiles.