chris hill 298.88.
(photo credit: )
The top US envoy on North Korea's nuclear program arrived in Japan on Monday and said the two countries needed to work together to encourage North Korea to follow "a different path" in the wake of its claimed nuclear test last week.
"We want to talk about implementation of the [UN Security Council resolution] and other measures ... and make sure that North Korea is not able to obtain the technology or financing to continue these programs," Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill told reporters at Tokyo's international airport.
"We need to make sure that the North Koreans choose a different path than the one they currently have," he said.
He said the common threat posed by the North's test had brought regional powers closer together -particularly China, Pyongyang's main benefactor, which had earlier balked at sanctions against the communist regime.
"I feel that we have a great deal of similar thinking with China. I think this nuclear test has brought China much closer to us," Hill said.
Hill was slated to meet with Kenichiro Sasae, Japan's chief envoy to the six-nation talks, late Monday afternoon in Tokyo, according to the Foreign Ministry. The six-party talks comprise China, Japan, Russia, the United States and South and North Korea.
US Embassy officials said Hill will be in Japan until Tuesday. The envoy will go to Seoul that day for talks with his counterpart, Chun Yung-woo, according to South Korea's Foreign Ministry.
Hill's visit to Tokyo came as Japan arranged to send its foreign minister to a meeting on the crisis this week in South Korea with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Rice was to arrive in Japan on Wednesday before traveling on to South Korea and China. Japan was making arrangements for Foreign Minister Taro Aso to join Rice on her trip and attend a three-way meeting in Seoul on Thursday with South Korea's Ban Ki-moon.
The three officials were expected to focus on strengthening the three countries' ties following the UN Security Council resolution adopted over the weekend to punish North Korea for its claimed nuclear test, the Yomiuri newspaper reported.
Earlier in the day, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki said the situation on the Korean Peninsula made it imperative for Japan, the US and South Korea to collaborate closely.
"It is extremely meaningful to firmly cooperate and transmit a firm message, especially to North Korea," Shiozaki said.