Press Conferences

Extraordinary Press Conference by Foreign Minister Taro Kono

Friday, September 15, 2017, 10:05 a.m. Front Entrance Hall, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

This is a provisional translation by an external company for reference purpose only.

Opening remarks

Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs: Following North Korea’s missile launch this morning, just now I held a telephone talk with the Honorable Rex W. Tillerson, Secretary of State of the United States of America, ahead of the National Security Council (NSC) meeting. Japan, the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK) requested an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), and the UNSC is to convene at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, New York time. Secretary Tillerson and I concurred that in light of the fact that North Korea’s reckless action came immediately after the adoption of a UNSC resolution, it will be necessary to coordinate firmly in the international community to exert pressure in various ways, and that Japan, the United States and the ROK will strongly encourage all countries to fully implement the recently adopted UNSC resolution. Furthermore, because there will be a UN General Assembly, I expect that a Japan-U.S. Summit Meeting and a Japan-U.S.-ROK Trilateral Summit Meeting will be held, and together with Dr. Kang Kyung-wha, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the ROK, the three of us will make some adjustments to facilitate that.

Question-and-answer session

Reporter: Have you already lodged a protest with North Korea?

Minister Kono: We have. Along with conveying the strong anger of Japanese citizens, we also condemned the missile launch in the strongest possible terms.

Reporter: Is coordination taking place to hold telephone talks with relevant countries other than the United States today?

Minister Kono: Various things are being coordinated.

Reporter: When you entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs earlier, you mentioned an ICBM. Could you comment on that?

Minister Kono: The missile launch is currently being analyzed at the Ministry of Defense.

Reporter: Does that mean it has not been confirmed yet?

Minister Kono: I understand it is being analyzed.

Reporter: If the missile flew 3,700 kilometers then that would put Guam within its range, I believe. Are you interpreting this as a provocation aimed at the United States?

Minister Kono: I think North Korea is repeatedly acting in a reckless way toward the international community.

Reporter: Do you believe this is a backlash against the UNSC resolution that was only adopted recently?

Minister Kono: North Korea has already carried out these missile launches and nuclear tests repeatedly. This constitutes a strong challenge to the international community, so Japan intends to exert the utmost pressure on North Korea and have it come to the dialogue table once, it has clarified its intention to denuclearize.

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