Abe's aggressive approach to North Korea succeeds at the United Nations, for now

Sergio Conner
September 24, 2017

Abe argued that past dialogue and economic assistance to the North ultimately did not put an end to its weapons development.

The threat posed by North Korea's nuclear and missile development is "unprecedented" and "indisputably a matter of urgency", Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the General Assembly on Wednesday, urging the worldwide community to place even greater pressure on "dictator" Kim Jong Un.

"We can't be satisfied that the United Nations has approved new sanctions against North Korea", Abe said.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged all United Nations member states Wednesday to block North Korea's access to "the goods, funds, people and technology" necessary for its nuclear and missile development programs. "What is needed to do that is not dialogue, but pressure", he said.

Abe said he wanted to create a "regulatory sandbox system" in Japan, allowing entrepreneurs to start new businesses without conforming to existing regulations for a period of time.

Abe warned that global credibility was on the line, saying North Korea was on the threshold of mastering hydrogen bombs and intercontinental ballistic missiles that would be able to strike the United States. "Their means of delivery will sooner or later be ICBMs [intercontinental ballistic missiles]".

At the annual gathering in New York, Abe devoted nearly his entire speech to North Korea, saying history shows that Pyongyang only uses direct talks to "deceive" its dialogue partners and buy more time to develop weapons.

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The prime minister prodded countries to strictly implement the series of sanctions resolutions from the U.N. Security Council, including one adopted on September 11 that restricts the export of oil to North Korea.

Abe said Japan, a treaty ally of the United States, consistently supported the USA stance that "all options are on the table" in dealing with North Korea.

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. He stressed Japan's support for the stance of the United States, which is that "all options are on the table", including military actions.

Abe pledged to make every effort to return Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s. But this time, Abe sought the resolution of the abduction issue by making specific mention of Yokota.

Trump vowed Tuesday to "totally destroy North Korea" if the U.S.is forced to defend itself or its allies.

"We must prevent the goods, funds, people, and technology necessary for nuclear and missile development from heading to North Korea", he said. "I hope these facts will become widely known around the world through the prime minister's speech, and that this will lead to progress on the abduction issue".

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