By The Japan News/ANN
Following North Korea’s sixth nuclear test on Sunday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke Monday morning with South Korean President Moon Jae In and they agreed to seek a stronger U.N. resolution on North Korea.
During the approximately 20-minute phone conversation, the two leaders agreed that their countries, and also the three-country group of Japan, the United States and South Korea, will work closely together to pass a new U.N. Security Council resolution. Abe and Moon also agreed to discuss the issue at their bilateral meeting to be held Thursday in the city of Vladivostok on Russia’s east coast.
In Sunday’s talks with Moon, Abe said the North’s nuclear test is “a direct challenge to international society and an unprecedentedly serious and imminent threat to regional safety, including to Japan.” Abe stressed that “it was essential for the entire international community to apply maximum pressure on North Korea, including the pursuit of a more powerful Security Council resolution.”
Moon replied that South Korea would work with the global community to craft strong retalitory mesasures against North Korea through the UNSC, including a strong resolution.
Japan’s government will request other countries’ cooperation in implementing strong countermeasures, including restrictions on oil exports to North Korea.
Late Sunday night, Abe also held a phone conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump followed by a call to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The U.N. General Assembly will hold a series of meetings in New York during the second half of this month. At a Monday liaison meeting between the government and ruling parties held at the Prime Minister’s Office, Abe said with regard to the U.N. meetings, “[Japan] will strongly argue [through the U.N. meetings] that now is not the time to hold a dialogue [with Pyongyang] but that it is necessary for international society to work closely together to pressure North Korea into adopting new policies.”
Foreign Minister Taro Kono and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held a roughly 20-minute phone conference on Monday morning. Kono and Tillerson agreed that the Japanese and U.S. governments will cooperate in efforts to adopt a new UNSC resolution.
At the Foreign Ministry, Kono held a series of meetings with representatives from non-permanent UNSC member countries - including with the charges d’affaires ad interim of Ethiopia, this month’s UNSC chair - and other officials. The foreign minister is thought to have asked for their cooperation in the adoption of a new resolution.