The foreign ministers of China, Japan and South Korea criticised North Korea’s latest submarine missile test today during their annual talks that were held amid lingering frictions over territorial disputes and wartime history.
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, who chaired the meeting with China’s Wang Yi and South Korea’s Yun Byung-se, said that North Korea’s missile launch “simply cannot be tolerated.”
North Korea fired a ballistic missile from a submarine into the Sea of Japan, South Korean and US officials said.
Seoul officials condemned the launch as an “armed protest” against the start of annual South Korean-US military drills that North Korean calls an invasion rehearsal.
Kishida said Tokyo lodged a protest to the North over the missile, and urged his counterparts to step up cooperation as they face the latest development.
“I hope to coordinate closely in order for Japan, China and South Korea to lead the efforts of the international community,” he said.
The three countries have quarreled on a number of issues, and their foreign ministers’ meetings resumed only last year after a two-year hiatus because of strained Chinese-Japanese relations.
Tensions between Tokyo and Beijing also remain high over disputed East China Sea islands.