Allies discuss post-launch contingency plans: diplomat
WASHINGTON (Yonhap) -- It is still too early to talk in detail about what the international community will do if North Korea goes ahead with its rocket launch, but top priority is being placed on preventing it from taking place, Japan's top nuclear envoy said Monday.
Speaking after meetings with senior U.S. officials, Shinsuke Sugiyama stressed that utmost efforts are being made to persuade Pyongyang to halt the planned launch, adding that "contingency" plans are also being considered.
"We are urging the DPRK (North Korea) not to do what they announced," the official who heads the Asian and Oceanian affairs bureau at Japan's foreign ministry told reporters in English.
"In the midst of making such an utmost effort, of course, I don't think I'll try to deny that we are discussing the contingency kind of things, which means ... trying to make measures if the launch is going to materialize."
On a possible trilateral meeting among the foreign ministers of South Korea, Japan and the U.S., he said all of the allies see the need for it. The talks, however, are unlikely to be held in the foreseeable future due to a scheduling problem, he said.
Shortly before the brief press availability, Sugiyama was escorted out of the State Department building by Glyn Davies, the U.S. special representative for North Korea policy.
Davies swiftly went back into the building, without talking to the media.
Sugiyama also met with Kurt Campbell, the assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs; Clifford Hart, the special envoy for the six-way talks; and some National Security Council officials, a source said. (Yonhap)