TOKYO, April 15 (KUNA) -- Visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry said
the US is ready to talk to North Korea but stressed that the North should take
"meaningful steps" toward its denuclearization.
"The United States remains open to authentic and credible negotiations on
denuclearization, but the burden is on Pyongyang," Kerry said in a speech at
the Tokyo Institute of Technology in Tokyo, Monday.
"North Korea must take meaningful steps to show it will honor commitments
it has already made," the secretary said.
Kerry is in Japan on the final leg of his three-nation Asian tour that has
already taken him to South Korea and China. He reiterated that the three
countries he had visited and the US are all united in seeking denuclearization
of the Korean Peninsula.
"One thing is certain. We are united. There can be no confusion on this
point. North Korea's dangerous nuclear missile program threatens not only its
neighbors, but also its own people," he said.
He also said the US welcomes China's support of keeping the Korean
Peninsula free of nuclear weapons. "The world does not need more potential for
war. So we will stand together, and welcome China's strong statement to this
commitment two days ago to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The
world does not need more potential for war."
Kerry's speech came amid speculation that Pyongyang is prepared to fire off
missiles around April 15 to mark the birthday of late founding leader Kim
Il-sung, the current ruler Kim Jong-un's grandfather.
On Sunday, Kerry and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida shared the
view that North Korea should immediately stop provocative behavior and take
concrete action toward denuclearization. Kerry said, on Sunday, the US will
protect its Asian allies - Japan and South Korea - against any provocative
acts by the North, but added Washington seeks a peaceful solution.
In Tokyo, Kerry also held talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in
which they touched on the issue of stalled relocation of a US military base in
southern Japan and other issues.
Kerry is scheduled to leave Japan later Monday.(end)
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