12 May 2017

News Story: Abe, Moon affirm close coordination on N. Korea

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and new South Korean President Moon Jae In affirmed Thursday they will coordinate closely in addressing North Korea, according to a Japanese government official.

In a roughly 25-minute telephone conversation -- their first talks since Moon was sworn in the day prior -- Abe congratulated Moon on his election victory and said he wants to build "future-oriented" bilateral ties.

The official quoted Moon as telling Abe that he wants to "strive together as leaders of our countries to build a good relationship of trust."

After hearing Abe's assessment of North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile development efforts, Moon said he is "of the same thought" on the matter, according to the official.

Abe told Moon that while it is important to resolve the situation surrounding North Korea peacefully and diplomatically, dialogue for dialogue's sake is meaningless, and it is crucial for Pyongyang to show an earnest resolve and specific actions toward denuclearization for there to be meaningful dialogue.

Moon, South Korea's first liberal president in nearly a decade, has said he will aim to engage more closely with North Korea in an effort to dissuade it from further development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, according to the official.

Read the full story at The Mainichi