31 July 2017

News Story: Abe stresses 3-way cooperation after N. Korea missile launch

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe emphasized Saturday the unity between Japan, the United States and South Korea in responding to the threat from North Korea following the North's test-firing of a second intercontinental ballistic missile the night before.

"Japan, the United States and South Korea are in complete agreement about the need to strengthen pressure (on North Korea), including at the U.N. Security Council," Abe told reporters at his office after Japanese officials spoke to counterparts in Washington and Seoul.

"Japan will resolutely respond (to the threat) while working in close coordination with the international community in strong cohesion with the United States, with South Korea, and between our three countries," Abe said.

While the Abe administration insists that pressure rather than dialogue is now necessary to compel Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile development efforts, South Korean President Moon Jae In has proposed holding talks between the South and North.

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said that while he and South Korean counterpart Kang Kyung Wha explained their respective stances to each other over the telephone on Saturday, they did agree on the importance of putting pressure on North Korea.

"We affirmed that in dealing with the North Korea issue, cooperation between its neighbors Japan and South Korea is crucial...I think it's important that we each confirm our basic thinking," Kishida said.

With U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Kishida agreed in telephone talks to place "the maximum possible pressure" on Pyongyang following the launch of the missile, which fell into the exclusive economic zone ringing Japanese territorial waters.

Friday's launch followed North Korea's first test-firing of an ICBM on July 4. The country has stated it aims to be able to deliver nuclear warheads to the U.S. mainland.

Read the full story at The Mainichi