Japan’s Abe, Trump agree to keep up pressure on N Korea

16-Feb-2018 Intellasia | CNBC | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe and US President Donald Trump agreed to keep up pressure on North Korea until Pyongyang abandons its nuclear and missile programmes, Japan’s foreign ministry said on Thursday.

The two leaders confirmed in phone talks on Wednesday night that there would be “no meaningful dialogue” unless North Korea agreed on “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation,” the ministry said in its statement.

“Dialogue for the sake of dialogue would be meaningless,” Abe told reporters after the phone talks.

South Korea said its president, Moon Jae-in, who has been pushing for a diplomatic solution to the North Korea standoff, was offered a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang. The offer was made via Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, who visited South Korea last week for the Winter Olympics.

US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the inter-delegation meeting in Japan on November 6, 2017.(Getty Images)

US vice President Mike Pence, who was also in South Korea for the Olympics opening, said on Wednesday the United States was open to talks with Pyongyang, but only to convey that it must give up its nuclear weapons.

Separately, Japan reported that it had identified another suspected illegal ship-to-ship transfer involving a UN blacklisted vessel.

Japan’s Foreign Ministry said it had reported to the United Nations that North Korean-registered tanker, the Rye Song Gang 1, was engaged in a transfer of goods with the Belise-registered tanker “Wan Heng 11″, in defiance of UN sanctions.

The transfer took place early Tuesday in the East China Sea about 250 km (155 miles) east of Shanghai, the ministry said in a statement issued late on Wednesday.

“Japan must be united with the international community to enhance pressure on North Korea to the maximum degree,” it said.

The Rye Song Gang 1 was also spotted last month in the East China Sea engaging in a suspected transfer of goods with the Dominican-flagged tanker “Yuk Tung”, which Tokyo also reported to the United Nations.




Category: Japan

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