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Japan's war bills are a signal to North Korea, says U.S. official

The security bills strengthen the U.S.-Japan alliance and they send a strong message to Pyongyang, according to a State Department official.

By Elizabeth Shim
Japan's war bills are a signal to North Korea, says U.S. official
U.S. President Barack Obama sits with his foreign policy team (L-R) U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Susan Rice during the Leaders' Summit on Peacekeeping at the 70th annual UN General Assembly at the UN headquarters September 28, 2015 in New York City. On Tuesday, Kerry, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se released a joint statement warning North Korea against future provocations. Pool Photo by Chip Somodevilla/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- The U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy said Japan's Self-Defense Forces could help suppress North Korea provocations, after a joint warning was issued from the United States, South Korea and Japan.

Sung Kim, the former U.S. Ambassador to South Korea, told Japan's Liberal Democratic Party Policy Research Council Chairwoman Tomomi Inada the recently passed security bills strengthen the U.S.-Japan alliance and the bills send a strong message to Pyongyang, NHK reported on Wednesday.

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A North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman had said on Sept. 20 that Japan passed the bills in order to prepare for an invasion of North Korea, and that the laws were an "ugly product of collusion" between Japan and the United States.

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs David Shear similarly told Inada the security bills were an important legislation that strengthens ties between Washington and Tokyo.

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The historic changes to Japan's security law allow Tokyo's SDF troops to fight overseas if an ally is attacked, but South Koreans are wary of Japanese forces entering areas of the Korean peninsula, Yonhap reported.

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In a joint statement from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, Yun said Japan's exercise of its right to self-defense should be carried out in a manner that respects Seoul's sovereignty.

In New York on Tuesday, the three top diplomats said any North Korea rocket launch would be a clear violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, and strongly urged Pyongyang from refraining from provocations.

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North Korea is expected to launch a long-range rocket for what it says are "peaceful" purposes, and to send a satellite into orbit, but Yonhap reported the actions would likely lead to sanctions.

Yun said on Tuesday the United Nations Security Council is looking into measures that would lead to both diplomatic and economic isolation that are "stronger than before" and "painful" to North Korea.

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