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Japan, European envoys call for int’l unity on N. Korea

  • September 20, 2017
  • , Kyodo News , 11:46 a.m.
  • English Press

NEW YORK — Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono affirmed Tuesday with his counterparts from the European Union and Britain the need for the international community to unite in putting pressure on North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.


According to the Japanese Foreign Ministry, Kono and Federica Mogherini, high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy, shared the view in their meeting on the fringes of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.


Mogherini told Kono the European Union will work with Japan, the United States and South Korea and call for all countries to stringently enforce the U.N. Security Council resolutions pertaining to the North’s activities, the ministry said.


In a separate meeting on Tuesday, Kono and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson reiterated their commitment to appealing to China in particular over North Korea, the ministry said.


They agreed to continue to work in close coordination over North Korea, including at the U.N. Security Council, which last week adopted a new sanctions resolution placing the first restrictions on oil supply to the North in response to its sixth nuclear test on Sept. 3.


In the roughly 40-minute meeting, Kono and Johnson also affirmed they will advance a new level of bilateral defense cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region in light of the commitments made by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and British counterpart Theresa May in their meeting in Japan last month.


In joint statements adopted at the leaders’ talks, Japan and Britain pledged to work together to maintain the rule of law at sea, with Japan welcoming Britain’s strengthened security engagement in the region.


Kono and Johnson welcomed the planned deployment of the British frigate Argyll to Japan next year for joint exercises with Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force.


On economic issues, they agreed to further strengthen bilateral economic relations as Britain prepares to leave the European Union, with Johnson telling Kono that Britain will consider the needs of Japanese companies doing business there during the process.


Also Tuesday, Kono and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland agreed to coordinate with each other to “maximize pressure” on North Korea through the complete enforcement of the relevant Security Council resolutions, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.

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