Japan's Defense Minister has stressed that it is important to continue applying pressure on North Korea until the country takes concrete actions toward denuclearization.
Itsunori Onodera gave a speech on North Korean issues on Saturday in Tokyo. It came after US President Donald Trump accepted a proposal to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Onodera argued Pyongyang has used past opportunities for dialogue to buy time for nuclear and missile development.
He gave as examples a 1994 framework agreement between the United States and North Korea to freeze the North's nuclear facilities, and a 2005 joint statement by the six-party talks that urged North Korea to abandon its nuclear program.
Onodera said it is necessary to determine whether Pyongyang seriously wants a dialogue on the premise of denuclearization.
The defense minister also said the change in North Korea's stance is the result of pressure from the international community.
He said Japan needs to work with the US, South Korea and other relevant countries to maximize pressure on the North to ensure it changes its policy.