US, Japan, South Korea diplomats review North Korea strategy

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, wearing a face mask to curb the spread of coronavirus, speaks to South Korea's Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong, right, during bilateral talks on the sidelines of a G7 foreign ministers meeting, at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, Monday, May 3, 2021. (Ben Stansall/Pool Photo via AP)

LONDON — The United States, Japan and South Korea are plowing ahead with efforts to push North Korea back to nuclear negotiations despite the North’s rejection of any such pressure.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Japanese and South Korean counterparts met Wednesday on the sidelines of an international conference to go over the Biden administration’s recently concluded North Korean policy review. The three-way meeting followed separate talks Monday in London among Blinken, Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu and South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong.

They discussed “shared concerns about North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs” and “reaffirmed their commitment to concerted trilateral cooperation toward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

“They also agreed on the imperative of fully implementing relevant U.N, Security Council resolutions by U.N. member states, including North Korea, preventing proliferation, and cooperating to strengthen deterrence and maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula,” Price said.

A broad outline of President Joe Biden’s policy review calls for an incremental approach to North Korea that shuns the Trump administration’s aim for an immediate comprehensive deal through face-to-face meetings between leaders, as well as the Obama administration’s “strategic patience” policy.