Washington: The US and Japan Friday sought "meaningful steps" from North Korea to ease tensions with Seoul, besides discussing a number of global issues including forging cooperation with China and India for greater energy security.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the long lasting relationship between the US and Japan is a guarantor of peace and stability in the Asia Pacific region, as she and her visiting Japanese counterpart Seiji Maehara vowed to work together on issues of global and strategic importance.
The United States and Japan will also enhance cooperation on the full range of global and strategic issues, from nuclear proliferation to maritime security, and from global economic recovery and growth to energy security and climate change, she said.
"We affirmed the need for North Korea to take meaningful steps to engage the Republic of Korea, restart the Six-Party Talks, and fulfill its commitments under the September 19, 2005 Joint Statement.
"We also agreed on finding more opportunities to hold trilateral meetings with South Korea, as we did last December," Clinton said.
Curbing the spread of nuclear weapons will continue to be a prominent feature of the US-Japan strategic cooperation, she said.
Clinton added that North Korea`s unprovoked attack on the island of Yeonpyeong and the recent revelation of its uranium enrichment programme highlight the fragility of peace in Northeast Asia and the ongoing threat to regional security.
The two leaders also discussed Iran. "We underscored the resolve of the international
community to persuade Iran to abide by its international obligations, participate in the negotiations process with seriousness, and address forthrightly the international community`s concerns over its nuclear ambitions," she said.
"We both reiterated our commitment to the dual-track approach of pursuing both negotiations and pressure, and we agreed on the importance of the pressure track, to achieve these objectives," Clinton said.
In Southeast Asia, the two countries will seek more opportunities to enhance cooperation by helping the people of the Lower Mekong region build up their capacity to deal with disasters, pandemics, and development needs.
"In the Pacific Islands, we are identifying new ways to help farmers and others respond to the effects of climate change. With China and India, we seek to work together to forge greater energy security as their economies continue to grow.