South Korea, Japan to resume talks on military information-sharing pact

Asked about Clapper's comments, State Department spokesman John Kirby said denuclearization of the peninsula remains the administration's policy and goal. "We reaffirmed the necessity to increase pressure against North Korea to have it give up its nuclear and missile development and realise the denuclearisation of the peninsula", Sugiyama told reporters.

"The determination of not only South Korea and the USA, but of the global community to end North Korea's nuclear programme is stronger than ever", a foreign ministry official said.

Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations think-tank on Tuesday, Mr Clapper described the North Korean government as "paranoid", and said it saw nuclear weapons as "their ticket to survival". US administrations have demanded that North Korea agree to denuclearization, although aid-for-disarmament negotiations have been stalled for years and sanctions have failed to stop the North's weapons' programs.

An unnamed South Korean government official was quoted as saying Seoul will resume a working-level dialogue with Japan soon about the bilateral intelligence-sharing accord to effectively respond to the DPRK's nuclear and missile threats.

( _English) "Inspectors have to be able to go into the country and be able to see whether or not North Korea is in keeping with the agreement to denuclearize, should it agree to do so".

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken, after meeting with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts, said their policy has not changed. A string of USA administrations have demanded that North Korea denuclearize, but aid-for-disarmament talks have been stalled for years, and sanctions have failed to slow Pyongyang's weapons programs.

"They are not going to do that", he said.

In his CFR remarks, Clapper also expressed mild frustration that the US has not taken better advantage of the Kim Jong-un regime's aversion to outside information reaching the North Korean people.

"If you want to talk about policy, you retire first".

North Korea claims to have made rapid progress in its nuclear and rocket programmes in recent years despite worldwide opposition and strict sanctions. "We are focused on increasing the pressure on North Korea with one goal: to bring it back to the table to negotiate in good faith".

The deputy foreign ministers of South Korea, Japan and the US made the announcement after meeting in Tokyo.

The Obama administration says it is intent on tightening sanctions on the regime of Kim Jong-un, who has doubled down on increasing the North's nuclear arsenal.

"Right now we're kind of stuck on our narrative and they're kind of stuck on theirs", Clapper said after his speech.

Clapper also expressed concern that Russian anti-aircraft weapons could make a potential US-enforced no-fly zone in Syria risky for American personnel.



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