Pressure, not dialogue needed on North Korea: Abe

Pauline Gross
September 24, 2017

North Korea has already demonstrated its disregard of the resolutions by launching yet another missile. Instead, he called for a major escalation of global sanctions. These attempts include the 1994 framework agreed on between the United States and North Korea in which light-water reactors and heavy fuel oil are provided to Pyongyang in exchange for it freezing its nuclear development, and the six-party talks in 2005 and 2007 over the North's nuclear plans.

"We greatly appreciate President Trump's approach to changing North Korea's policy stance, denuclearising the country and calling on the worldwide community, including China and Russian Federation, for their cooperation toward strengthening pressure on North Korea", Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters, referring to US President Donald Trump's speech at the United Nations on Tuesday.

The Japanese leader spent a large part of his speech outlining the failed attempts at using dialogue and agreements to coerce North Korea into giving up its nuclear program, eventually telling the worldwide body the DPRK has used the talks to defraud the U.S., South Korea and Japan.

Abe said diplomatic attempts to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear aspirations have failed over two decades.

This surely reflects efforts by the Abe administration to "tug on (Trump's) heartstrings" about an element of the North Korea issue usually overshadowed by the drama of nuclear arms, said Brad Glosserman, executive director of the Pacific Forum Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Hawaii-based think tank.

Glosserman called Abe's sidling up to Trump "the gold standard - in terms of getting on side with the President of the United States, probably no one has come closer than him".

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers a speech on Japan's economy and investment-friendly reforms at New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan, New York, U.S., September 20, 2017.

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Kim, in an unusual direct statement to the world, responded by pledging to take "highest-level" action against the United States. Trump called the North Korean leader a "madman" on Friday, a day after Kim dubbed him a "mentally deranged USA dotard".

U.S. President Donald Trump referred to Megumi in his United Nations address the day before Abe's speech, and her mother Sakie appreciated his reference. "In order to change North Korea's policies, we must strengthen our unity", Abe said.

The resolution, adopted in response to the North's September 3 nuclear test, places restrictions on its supply of oil and petroleum products and targets its sources of foreign currency.

"The U.S. government still has various cards up its sleeve to intensify pressure on North Korea, but the key factor behind how and when it will do so is the likely effect on China", Izumikawa said.

The Prime Minister is widely expected to dissolve the Lower House of Parliament on Sept 28 to call a snap election, with voters going to the polls on Oct 22.

Abe needs to take care to avoid perceptions he is exploiting the North Korea tensions for political gain, Izumikawa said.

Abe spoke of Megumi Yokota, who was abducted by North Korea at the age of 13. But later North Korea unilaterally broke its promise and has now gone as far as being on the verge of acquiring hydrogen bombs.

Other reports by GizPress

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