Trump, Abe agree to strengthen pressure on North Korea

U.S. President Donald Trump and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to strengthen economic sanctions against North Korea, according to Japanese press reports. Pool Photo by Chip Somodevilla/UPI

Aug. 31 (UPI) — U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe exchanged views during a second phone call, following North Korea‘s launch of a midrange missile that flew over Japan.

The White House issued a press release after the call, stating the “two leaders confirmed their continuing, close cooperation on efforts to address North Korea’s launch of an intermediate range ballistic missile that overflew Japanese territory earlier this week.”

The two leaders spoke for about 30 minutes on cooperation and ways to strengthen pressure on North Korea bilaterally as well as in conjunction with South Korea, according to Japanese press reports.

After the call, Abe told local reporters he and Trump agreed North Korea’s most recent provocation is “extremely dangerous.”

“Launching missiles across Japanese airspace is an extremely dangerous act, [President Trump and I] were in complete agreement the international community needs to strengthen pressure [on North Korea],” Abe said.

The Japanese government is reportedly aiming to increase sanctions against Pyongyang to include a ban on oil exports to the relatively isolated state, Yonhap news agency reported.

Trump and Abe agreed they shared the goal of blocking the oil supply, according to the report.

North Korea’s latest missile is likely a midrange ballistic projectile with a range of 3,100 miles, according to Japan’s defense ministry.


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