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Japan, South Korea nuclear envoys agree to cooperate on North Korea

North Korea resumed missile tests in 2019, raising concerns in South Korea and Japan. File Photo by KCNA/UPI
North Korea resumed missile tests in 2019, raising concerns in South Korea and Japan. File Photo by KCNA/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Nuclear envoys of South Korea and Japan exchanged a phone call on Friday and agreed to cooperate on North Korea matters.

The call takes place as North Korea urges members of the Workers' Party to be at the forefront of setting solutions, or "implementing party policy."

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South Korea's foreign ministry said Friday that South Korean negotiator Lee Do-hoon and his Japanese counterpart Shigeki Takizaki held a virtual meeting to discuss the "North Korea issue" and decided to continue ongoing cooperation.

Seoul did not provide explicit details of the call, but it is likely the two sides exchanged opinions on the after-effects of a recent typhoon, according to Yonhap. North Korea's preparations for a parade, ahead of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Workers' Party in October, could have also been discussed, the report says.

On Tuesday, analyst Martyn Williams said on 38 North that commercial satellite imagery shows rehearsals have begun for an upcoming North Korean military parade. Hundreds of vehicles were seen parked next to parade grounds, and "thousands of troops" were shown in formation near a prop that resembled Kim Il Sung Square, Williams said.

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The online meeting between Lee and Takizaki, who oversees Tokyo's Asia and Oceanian affairs, is taking place for the first time in four months. In April, the two sides exchanged views on North Korean missile tests and agreed to engage in trilateral cooperation with the United States. On Wednesday, Lee spoke to U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun.

North Korea is looking ahead to January, when it is expected to hold its Eighth Party Congress.

Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun reported Friday the state's highest decision-making body and its members are being tasked with the "thorough implementation" of party policy.

North Korea's most powerful politicians, including officials in charge of nuclear weapons, recently made a high-profile visit to farms hit by Typhoon Bavi, according to state media.

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