Press Conferences

Press Conference by Foreign Minister Taro Kono

Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 5:16 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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

Question-and-Answer Session

Reporter: The U.S.-ROK joint military exercises will start on April 1. Please tell us what effect this will have on denuclearization of the peninsula.

Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs: I think there was an announcement that table top exercise “Key Resolve” and field training exercise “Foal Eagle” will be conducted from April 1. I believe these U.S.-ROK joint exercises are a major element comprising deterrence in parallel with Japan-U.S. and Japan-U.S.-ROK defense cooperation, so I believe it contributes to the peace and safety of the region. A ROK-North Korea summit meeting and a U.S.-North Korea summit meeting are expected to be held going forward, but the international community requires North Korea to not only say they are committed to denuclearization but also take concrete actions. Until North Korea takes concrete actions in a firm manner, we should properly impose economic sanctions and conduct these kinds of military exercises.

Reporter: A meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs Lavrov is planned for tomorrow. Can you please tell us what outcomes you are hoping to achieve?

Minister Kono: The prime minister is planning to visit Russia in May, so I intend to sort out the matters that can be thoroughly sorted out between the foreign ministers towards that visit.

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