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Abe, Trump agree to take new action after 2nd N. Korean ICBM

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he and U.S. President
Donald Trump agreed in telephone talks Monday that they must take
fresh action to tackle the threat from North Korea following
Pyongyang's second test of an intercontinental ballistic missile.

"I completely agreed with President Trump on the recognition
that we must take further action," Abe told reporters after the talks.

The White House also said Trump has reaffirmed the country's
"ironclad commitment" to defend Japan and South Korea from any
attack, using the full range of its capabilities.

Abe and Trump agreed on the need to immediately impose measures
against the North that are stronger than those previously discussed
at the United Nations, according to Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary
Koichi Hagiuda.

"We have made repeated efforts to resolve the North Korean issue
peacefully, coordinating between Japan and the United States and with
the international community, but North Korea has trampled all over
these efforts and unilaterally escalated (the situation)," Abe said.

"China, Russia and the rest of the international community must
take seriously this undeniable fact and increase their pressure," he
said.

Hagiuda told a press conference that the two leaders agreed on
the importance of China and Russia in compelling North Korea to halt
its nuclear and missile development, which is banned by the United
Nations and has prompted a range of international sanctions.

The telephone conversation took place as Washington is
considering beefing up its economic sanctions against Chinese and
Russian firms believed to be involved in Pyongyang's nuclear and
missile development, according to sources close to the matter.

Hagiuda said Abe and Trump discussed the latter's post on
Twitter on Saturday that he is "very disappointed in China," which he
said has done "NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk," adding,
"We will no longer allow this to continue."

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga hinted at a separate
press conference that similar telephone talks will be held between
Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae In.

Moon is expected to have telephone talks with Trump and Abe,
respectively, after he comes back from summer vacation later this
week, according to South Korean presidential office sources.

The ICBM launched late Friday night travelled for 47 minutes and
reached an altitude of 3,724.9 kilometers, according to North Korea's
official media. It later fell into the Sea of Japan inside Japan's
exclusive economic zone.

The altitude and distance it covered have led defense experts to
estimate that it could reach major cities on the U.S. mainland if
fired on an optimal trajectory.

North Korea test-fired its first ICBM on July 4. The country has
stated its ambitions of being able to deliver nuclear warheads to
targets in the United States.

Abe also told reporters, "Under the strong cohesion between
Japan and the United States, we will take concrete actions to enhance
our defense capabilities and do all we can to ensure the public are
kept safe from the threat from North Korea."

On Sunday, two Japanese F-2 fighter jets and two U.S. B-1
bombers conducted a joint drill off the Korean Peninsula. The U.S.
bombers subsequently conducted exercise with the South Korean air
force, according to Japanese Air Self-Defense Force officials.

According to Hagiuda, the leaders did not discuss taking
military action against North Korea, or what sort of action by
Pyongyang would constitute the crossing of a "red line" for the
United States. (July 31)