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Japan-South Korea rift

U.S., Japan vow cooperation with South Korea on Pyongyang threat

Washington aims to bridge rift between allies to bolster missile response

North Korea launches a railway-borne missile during drills in January, according to state media. (Photo by KCNA via Reuters)

TOKYO -- U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi affirmed on Wednesday three-way cooperation with South Korea in responding to North Korea's recent missile tests, reflecting Washington's concern over strained ties between Tokyo and Seoul.

Hayashi, Blinken and their South Korean counterpart are scheduled to meet Feb. 12 in Hawaii, a trilateral gathering expected to focus on North Korea. But protracted tensions dividing Tokyo and Seoul threaten their ability to confront Pyongyang's provocations, leading the U.S. to push for a diplomatic thaw between its East Asian allies.

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