News

Announcement by the Chief Cabinet Secretary on Japan's immediate response to North Korea's missile launch

September 1, 1998

The missile launched by North Korea may have flown over Japan and landed off the coast of the Sanriku. This action directly affects Japan's security and as such presents a very serious situation of concern. It is also an act that is deeply regrettable from the viewpoint of the peace and stability of Northeast Asia and of the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Based on these viewpoints, Japan must reconsider its policy toward North Korea (NK) and take stringent responses in a firm manner. Also, coordination with the United States (US) and the Republic of Korea (ROK) shall be made.

The following is the concrete measures to be taken:

1 Consultation among Japan, US, and ROK
(1) Exchange of information and views between Japan and US will be undertaken at all levels including high level.
(2) With ROK, exchange of information and views will be conducted by Foreign Minister Koumura and Japan Defense Agency (JDA) Director-General Nukaga with the Minister of Defense Cheon Yong Taek who came to Japan on the 1st, and by Foreign Minister Koumura and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Hong Soon Young who will arrive in Japan on the 3rd.
(3) Consultation among Japan, US and ROK will be proposed, to be held as soon as possible at the highest possible level.
(4) Pursue the possibility of holding ministerial-level consultation among Japan, US and ROK on the occasion of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) late September.

2 Action in the UN
Pursue the possibility of raising the issue appropriately at UNGA and UN Security Council.

3 Japan-North Korea relations
(1) Convey to NK our sense of regret and strongest objection at all levels and demand explanations from NK as well as urge them to suspend the development and export of missiles.
(2) Although Japan has so far indicated its willingness to resume the normalization negotiation without precondition, Japan will not enter into such negotiation for the time being.
(3) Food and other assistance to NK will not be extended for the time being.
(4) Depending on further developments, further measures will be considered by the Government as a whole.

4 Korean Energy Development Organization (KEDO)
After consulting with US and ROK, progress on KEDO will be suspended for the time being.

5 Japan's posture
(1) Information sharing will be further strengthened among relevant government agencies by holding information meetings in time of emergency, and such concrete measures as research on the use of visual image satellites will be promoted in with a view to enhancing Japan's own information gathering capabilities.
(2) In connection with Japan's defense policy, technical study on the ballistic missile defense system will be further continued, and the bills related to the Japan-US Defense Guidelines are expected to be approved and enacted soon.

(End)


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