Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday (20/09) that countries need to unite to enforce sanctions and apply pressure on North Korea to abandon its nuclear and missile programs.
“Now is not the time for dialogue. Now is the time to apply pressure,” Abe told a gathering of investors at the New York Stock Exchange, ahead of a scheduled address at the annual United Nations General Assembly.
On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump warned North Korea in his speech to the UN that the United States would “totally destroy” the country if threatened.
In contrast, Japan’s Asian rival China, and Russia, have called repeatedly for a return to international diplomacy and talks with North Korea to resolve the crisis over Pyongyang’s weapons programs.
“We can’t be satisfied that the UN has approved new sanctions against North Korea,” Abe said. “What’s crucial now is to put sanctions into effect without lapses and that requires close cooperation with China and Russia.”
On Sept. 11, the UN Security Council unanimously stepped up sanctions against North Korea over its sixth and most powerful nuclear test, imposing a ban on the isolated nation’s textile exports and capping imports of crude oil.
North Korea fired a missile on Friday that flew over Hokkaido in northern Japan and landed far out into the Pacific Ocean, according to Japanese and South Korean officials, further ratcheting up tensions in the region.
Abe said diplomatic attempts to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear aspirations have failed over two decades.
“Dialogue for the purpose of having dialogue is meaningless,” Abe said at the New York Stock Exchange.