Senior diplomats from Japan, the United States, and South Korea met in Tokyo on Tuesday to discuss North Korea's missile and nuclear development a day after Pyongyang reported the successful launch of new long-range cruise missiles, implying military capability enhancement.
Sung Kim, the US Special Representative for North Korean Policy, Noh Kyu-duk, the South Korean Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs, and Takehiro Funakoshi, Japan's Director-General for Asian and Oceanian Affairs, attended the three-way discussion.
The trilateral meeting had been scheduled before North Korea's missile test-firing. Still, the meeting the day after would be a "good occasion to reconfirm close cooperation among the three countries and discuss the latest North Korean situation," Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said at a regular news conference Tuesday.
According to Japanese officials and some analysts, North Korea's weekend missile test was a "new threat" to the region.
According to the state-run Korean Central News Agency, the missiles demonstrated their ability to attack 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) from afar.
The North praised its new missiles as a "strategic weapon of great significance," implying that they were designed with nuclear warheads in mind. North Korea argues it needs nuclear weapons to deter what it alleges is US and South Korean hostility.
Japan and South Korea are separate critical allies for the United States' involvement in the Asia-Pacific area.