Hayashi: Japan cannot acknowledge North Korea acquiring nuclear weapons

TOKYO: Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa said on Tuesday that Japan cannot accept North Korea becoming a nuclear state, a position shared by the G7 foreign ministers' statement released on Sept. 21 as well as a resolution passed by the IAEA's general conference in September.

Hayashi was responding to a question from Arab News Japan whether Japan would be prepared to recognize North Korea as a nuclear state. Hayashi responded by saying that North Korea was still a threat to Japan.

North Korea launched an ICBM-grade ballistic missile on November 18, and it is conducting ballistic missile tests at an unprecedented rate," Hayashi said.

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"North Korea's nuclear missile development poses a grave and serious threat to Japan's national security." It also poses a clear and serious challenge to international society, and cannot be tolerated."

Hayashi said that on November 13, Prime Minister Kishida Fumio met with US President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol in a summit, and the three leaders stressed the importance of coordination.

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However, he added that he called for "sustained dialogue" with North Korea so that any issues could be resolved peacefully and diplomatically and that he wanted North Korea to return to the negotiating table.

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"The Japanese government will continue to work closely with the United States, the Republic of Korea, and the international society at large to achieve national security and a complete solution to the denuclearization of the North Korean Peninsula," Hayashi said.

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