North Korea warns Japan not to join nuclear consulting group between US, South Korea

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North Korea’s foreign ministry has warned Japan not to join the newly announced Nuclear Consultative Group (NCG) between South Korea and the US and said doing so would make the Northeast Asian region unstable.

The group, announced during South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s state visit to the US last month, will see the US give Seoul more insight and say in its nuclear planning over any conflict with North Korea.

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“If Japan persistently resorts to forming the US-led tripartite military alliance ... it will plunge Northeast Asia into instability and finally turn it into a sea of flames, where it will perish,” Kim Sol Hwa of the foreign ministry’s Institute for Japan Studies said in an editorial.

The comment was aimed at Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who paid a working visit to South Korea on Sunday, criticizing the first bilateral trip in 12 years as “amplifying the concern of the region and the international community.”

The nuclear consultative group was announced as part of a “Washington Declaration” made during Yoon’s trip to the US Yoon has said the declaration has “upgraded” the alliance with the US and that Japan is not ruled out from joining the NCG.

It also includes a renewed pledge by Seoul not to pursue nuclear bombs of its own despite recent polls suggesting a majority want Seoul to acquire them.

Japan and South Korea are set to agree early next month to link their radars via a US system to share real-time information on North Korea’s ballistic missiles, a person with knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday.

South Korea’s presidential office also said on Monday that the country would form a group with Japan and the United States to share information about North Korea’s missiles, news agency Yonhap reported.

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