LONDON – The Korean and Syrian crises will be high on the agenda for foreign ministers from the G8 group of nations, as their talks began in London.
Correspondents say Japan, present at the talks, is looking for a strong statement of solidarity over Korea.
North Korea has been making bellicose threats against South Korea, Japan and US bases in the region.
The foreign ministers will also debate the Syrian crisis and peace prospects in the Middle East.
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague welcomed the ministers to Lancaster House on Thursday morning.
He said: “We’ve got many issues to discuss today around the themes of conflict prevention and conflict resolution.
“We are going to be discussing counter-terrorism and counter-proliferation – that will give us an opportunity to discuss the DPRK (North Korea) and Iran.”
The Group of Eight nations comprises the US, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada and Russia.
Britain currently holds the rotating chairmanship of the G8 and the talks are a prelude to the annual G8 summit later this year in Northern Ireland.
The BBC’s diplomatic correspondent James Robbins says ministers agree that the combination of warlike threats from North Korea and preparations for new missile tests amount to dangerous provocation.