Senior diplomats of South Korea, the United States and Japan sat together in Tokyo on Tuesday seeking to chart ways to rein in North Korea as the communist country appears to be preparing another military provocation.
The meeting brought together the three countries' chief negotiators on the North Korean nuclear issue to coordinate their responses to advancing nuclear and missile threats by North Korea.
The trilateral meeting comes amid unusually heightened tension after North Korea ratcheted up its ballistic missile tests and military threats to the US and South Korea this year.
With North Korea reportedly coming close to owning a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile, the US Trump administration has been ramping up pressure on North Korea and persuading China to join efforts to curb North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.
During his visit to Seoul last month, US Vice President Pence declared that "all options are on the table," including military action.
A day earlier, Trump pledged to work together with Japan and China to get North Korea to give up its weapons programs during his phone conversations with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Xi Jinping.
The US has also deployed its aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson to the region, as tensions remain high here.
The latest meeting involves Kim Hong-kyun, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs at the foreign ministry, and his US and Japanese counterparts, Joseph Yun and Kenji Kanasugi. (Yonhap)