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Abe, Trump, Moon to affirm unity on N. Korea on U.N. sidelines

The leaders of Japan, the United States and South Korea are set
to renew Thursday in New York their united front against the threat
from North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile development.

In a summit on the margins of the U.N. General Assembly,
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, U.S. President Donald Trump and
South Korean President Moon Jae In are expected to again agree to
work in close coordination with each other to step up pressure on
North Korea.

They are also likely to urge the enforcement of U.N. Security
Council resolutions on the North, including the latest sanctions
resolution that for the first time capped the supply of oil and
petroleum products to the country in response to its sixth nuclear
test on Sept. 3.

They may stress the importance of China and Russia using their
economic and diplomatic influence to hold North Korea to account.

Abe and Trump have both already slammed the North's actions in
their speeches during the annual general debate, while Moon will get
a chance to tackle the issue early on Thursday.

Devoting his whole address on Wednesday to North Korea, Abe said
earlier efforts to give Pyongyang incentives to give up its nuclear
program have resulted only in it "defrauding" Japan, the United
States and South Korea of assistance.

A day earlier, Trump warned in his debut U.N. address that the
United States "will have no choice but to totally destroy" North
Korea if "forced to defend itself or its allies."

Japan and South Korea are both bound by security treaties with
the United States, although in Japan's case its pacifist Constitution
prevents it from taking part in military action unless its own
survival is explicitly at stake.

The elections of Trump in November last year and Moon in May had
prompted speculation over a potential thaw in relations between their
respective countries and North Korea, in contrast to Abe's consistent
opposition to restarting direct talks with Pyongyang.

But in the face of the latest nuclear test, two intercontinental
ballistic missile tests in July and the recent launches of
intermediate-range missiles across Japan into the Pacific Ocean, both
Trump and Moon have stated that dialogue is not on the cards in the
current situation.

Abe and Trump are set to hold a separate bilateral summit later
Thursday. (Sept. 21)