VIENNA (Kyodo) -- Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida called on the international community Tuesday to strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime, citing the growing threat posed by North Korea's nuclear and missiles development programs.
Taking part in the preparatory committee for the 2020 review conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in Vienna, the first Japanese foreign minister to do so, Kishida also urged cooperation between nuclear weapons states and non-nuclear weapons states to prevent the spread of nuclear arms.
"North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests and launched more than 30 ballistic missiles since last year. Its nuclear and missile development has reached a new level and is posing a real threat to the region and beyond in the international community," Kishida told the preparatory committee.
Kishida, a veteran House of Representatives lawmaker from Hiroshima, which was devastated by a U.S. atomic bombing in 1945, condemned North Korea's aggressive pursuit of nuclear development as posing a "challenge" to the disarmament and non-proliferation regime under the NPT.
The efforts toward a world without nuclear weapons should be "carried out in a realistic manner, while taking into account the security environment that is becoming increasingly severe, including that of North Korea," Kishida said.
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