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FM Kono expresses understanding for U.S.-North Korea preliminary talks

 Monday’s Nikkei reported that Foreign Minister Kono did not deny the necessity for the U.S. to hold preliminary talks with North Korea before entering full-fledged negotiations on the North’s nuclear and missile programs. The daily quoted Kono as telling reporters in Munich: “Contact is significant in the sense that it tells [North Korea] to abandon its nuclear and missile programs and come to the table for dialogue.” At the same time, Kono reportedly stressed the importance of applying pressure on Pyongyang, saying: “Japan, the U.S., and South Korea share the view that nothing can be gained through dialogue at this stage.”

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