NATIONAL

Moon, Abe agree to put maximum pressure on N. Korea until resumption of dialogue

By Catherine Chung
  • Published : Aug 7, 2017 - 18:23
  • Updated : Aug 8, 2017 - 09:16
The leaders of South Korea and Japan agreed Monday to put maximum pressure on North Korea until the reclusive state chooses the right path of dialogue, Seoul's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said.

"President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a telephone conversation today and shared their views on the seriousness of the security conditions on the Korean Peninsula following North Korea's repeated provocations," Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Park Soo-hyun told reporters. The talks lasted 23 minutes from 4 p.m., he added.

The two also shared the view "that they need to continue enhancing their pressure and sanctions on North Korea under current conditions where the North shows no sign of interest in talks," the spokesman added.

Pyongyang test launched what it claims to be intercontinental ballistic missiles on July 4 and July 28.

(Yonhap)

The latest missile provocations have led to a new sanctions resolution by the UN Security Council, which was unanimously adopted on Sunday (Seoul time).

Moon and Abe hailed the resolution as the strongest sanctions ever put on the communist North, according to Park.

"They agreed to make sure the new resolution is faithfully implemented under close cooperation with the international community so that it will become an opportunity to induce a change in North Korea's behavior," he said at a press briefing.

Moon's conversation with the Japanese leader came shortly after his discussions with his US counterpart Donald Trump, in which the South Korean leader stressed the ultimate goal of sanctions and pressure against the North must be to bring the reclusive state back to the dialogue table.

He reiterated his stance while speaking with Abe.

"Noting the (North Korea) issue must be eventually resolved peacefully and diplomatically through negotiations, President Moon stressed the need for strategic discussions between South Korea and Japan, as well as South Korea, Japan and the United States to bring North Korea back to talks aimed at its complete denuclearization," the Cheong Wa Dae spokesman said.

Abe agreed the goal was to bring North Korea back to the dialogue table, but said he praised the South Korean leader for seeing the need to put maximum pressure on the North, at least for now, he added.

The Japanese leader also expressed hope to resume so-called summit diplomacy between Seoul and Tokyo, extending an invitation for Moon to visit Japan in the near future.

Moon agreed to schedule his visit at a time that will best serve both sides, while expressing his hope to meet Abe at the upcoming Eastern Economic Forum to be held in Russia's Vladivostok early next month. (Yonhap)