Trump "completely agree" on next steps over N. Korea
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in the early hours of Thursday
that he and U.S. President Donald Trump have "completely agreed"
their next moves to tackle the threat from North Korea, following the
North's launch of a ballistic missile across Japan into the Pacific
"I cannot tell you about our forthcoming response to North
Korea, but we have just completely agreed on it," Abe told reporters
at his office after holding the second telephone call with Trump in
as many days.
A senior Japanese official subsequently said the leaders had
agreed on the need for stronger pressure to be put on North Korea and
for the country to "change its policies."
Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasutoshi Nishimura said at an
impromptu press conference that Abe and Trump agreed to "continue
work in close coordination, including at the United Nations" over
North Korea's launch of the missile over northern Japan on
Tuesday prompted the U.N. Security Council to unanimously adopt a
statement condemning the launch.
Abe spoke with Trump for about 30 minutes around midnight
Wednesday, having already affirmed with the leaders of Australia,
Britain and South Korea earlier in the day that they will coordinate
closely in putting increased pressure on North Korea.
But a stricter U.N. Security Council resolution with further
restrictions on North Korea would require wrangling with China and
Russia, permanent members of the decision-making body that both have
economic dealings with Pyongyang.
Earlier Wednesday, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide
Suga, the government's top spokesman, said an oil embargo is "one
the options" Japan might seek to tighten the international
community's vise on North Korea. Nishimura declined to say whether
Abe and Trump had discussed such a move.
Trump posted on Twitter shortly before his phone call with Abe
that "talking is not the answer" in dealing with North Korea.
According to Nishimura, Abe also told Trump in the late-night
phone call that Japan is prepared to offer emergency relief supplies
for the southern part of the United States hit by Hurricane Harvey.