HAMBURG (Kyodo) -- The leaders of Japan, the United States and South Korea started a meeting Thursday at which they are expected to affirm trilateral coordination in stepping up pressure on North Korea to curb its development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
They are also likely to urge China and Russia to tighten the screws on the North after Pyongyang test-launched Tuesday an intercontinental ballistic missile potentially capable of reaching parts of the United States, a development U.S. President Donald Trump earlier said "won't happen."
Trump met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae In on the sidelines of a two-day meeting of the Group of 20 major economies starting Friday in Hamburg, Germany, in the first trilateral summit since Trump and Moon took office in January and May, respectively.
The three leaders gathered as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his regime will never abandon nuclear weapons and will continue to send the United States more "gift packages" of missile and nuclear tests in what he described as self-defense measures.
North Korea's launch of a first ICBM marked a major step forward in its pursuit of a nuclear-tipped missile that could strike as far as the U.S. mainland. Analysts say the flight details suggest the missile is capable of reaching the U.S. state of Alaska, representing a potentially major shift in the security landscape.
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