US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have agreed to exert added pressure on North Korea
over its missile and nuclear development programs.
Speaking on the phone on Monday, the leaders reiterated the need to “respond to any threat or action taken by North Korea,” according to Japanese media.
The two talked about “the growing threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs,” the White House said in a statement.
“Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to a denuclearized Korean Peninsula,” it added.
Trump and Abe also agreed to hold trilateral talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit, which begins Friday in Germany, media quoted Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda as saying.
Stopping North Korea’s missile and nuclear development programs has been a top priority for the three allied countries who have worked together against Pyongyang.
However, experts say the US has recently shifted its attention towards China, Pyongyang’s sole ally, in order to use Beijing’s influence on its neighbor to stop Pyongyang’s military programs.
Trump invited Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife to his private estate in Florida in April, where he wooed the Chinese leader and promised him to make his best effort to build strong relations between the two sides.
US President Donald Trump (R) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) shake hands during a dinner at Trump’s private estate in West Palm Beach, Florida, April 7, 2017. (photo by AFP)
The US president, however, complained on Twitter late last month that China’s efforts had “not worked out.”
North Korea has defended its missile and nuclear programs, saying they act as a deterrent against US aggression and expansionism.