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Japan’s Abe, Trump agree to keep up pressure on North Korea

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to keep up pressure on North Korea till Pyongyang abandons its nuclear and missile packages, Japan’s overseas ministry mentioned on Thursday.

The two leaders confirmed in telephone talks on Wednesday night time there could be “no meaningful dialogue” until North Korea agreed on “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization,” the ministry mentioned in its assertion.

“Dialogue for the sake of dialogue would be meaningless,” Abe advised reporters after the telephone talks.

South Korea says its president, Moon Jae-in, who has been pushing for a diplomatic answer to the North Korea standoff, was supplied a gathering with North Korean chief Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang. The supply was made by way of Kim’s sister, who visited South Korea final week for the Winter Olympics.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who was additionally in South Korea for the Olympics opening, mentioned on Wednesday the United States was open to talks with Pyongyang however solely to convey that it should give up its nuclear weapons.

Separately, Japan reported what it mentioned it had recognized as one other suspected unlawful ship-to-ship switch involving a U.N. blacklisted vessel.

Japan’s Foreign Ministry mentioned it had reported to the United Nations that North Korean-registered tanker, the Rye Song Gang 1, was engaged in a switch of products with the Belize-registered tanker “Wan Heng 11”, in defiance of U.N. sanctions.

The switch came about early Tuesday within the East China Sea about 250 km (155 miles) east of Shanghai, the ministry mentioned in a press release issued late on Wednesday.

“Japan must be united with the international community to enhance pressure on North Korea to the maximum degree,” it mentioned.

The Rye Song Gang 1 was additionally noticed final month within the East China Sea participating in a suspected switch of products with the Dominican-flagged tanker “Yuk Tung”, which Tokyo additionally reported to the United Nations.

Reporting by Kaori Kaneko and William Mallard; Editing by Lincoln Feast

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