Japanese PM Urges More Pressure Against North Korea

Asian leaders expressed mounting concern about North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile development during a Tuesday meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Japan, China and South Korea, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urging members to refrain from a return to talks with the isolated country.

According to a Japanese government spokesman, Abe told the other ASEAN Plus Three leaders that approaching Pyongyang for talks now would result in nothing meaningful, and that pressure must instead be applied until the North seeks dialogue on the basis that it will change its policies.

According to a draft of a joint statement seen by Kyodo News, the ASEAN Plus Three members were to urge North Korea to “stop provocative and threatening actions, thereby creating conditions conducive for dialogue.”

They were expected to call on North Korea to immediately comply with all relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions and reiterate their support for the “complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner.”