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U.S., Japan Say Won't Accept Nuclear-Armed North Korea

TOKYO (Reuters) -- The United States and Japan have agreed they cannot accept a nuclear-armed North Korea, saying they are deeply concerned about recent "destabilizing" actions by the isolated communist state.

"We absolutely cannot accept that North Korea will have nuclear weapons," Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka, said after meeting U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Jim Steinberg.

Steinberg said relevant countries have been holding productive discussions on what steps they can take at the United Nations Security Council and elsewhere to make clear to Pyongyang that its recent actions are "a bad path to go down."

"We stand united in making clear our deep concerns about North Korea's highly destabilizing actions," Steinberg told reporters in Tokyo.

"We reaffirm our commitment to work together along with South Korea, China, and Russia to return North Korea to the path of complete and verifiable denuclearization," Steinberg said.

Steinberg is leading a U.S. delegation to Asia this week to consult on how to respond to North Korea's latest nuclear test last week.