Moon, Abe agree on need for more sanctions on N. Korea

May 30, 2017

SEOUL, May 30 (Yonhap) — The leaders of South Korea and Japan agreed Tuesday on the need for more sanctions and pressure on North Korea, saying now is not the time for dialogue with the recalcitrant state, according to the South’s presidential office.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe reached the conclusion during a 20-minute phone conversation one day after the North’s new ballistic missile test, Moon’s spokesman Park Soo-hyun said.

“I agree with the prime minister’s words that now is not time for dialogue with North Korea, but a time to heighten sanctions and pressure,” Park quoted Moon as saying.

The president added, however, that the ultimate goal of sanctions and pressure is to bring Pyongyang back to negotiations on its complete denuclearization, the spokesman said.

“That is why the international community must on the one hand respond firmly and on the other hand continue to send the message that dialogue is possible if North Korea gives up its nuclear development,” Moon said, according to Park.

On Monday, North Korea launched a Scud-type short-range missile from its east coast. The South Korean and U.S. militaries said it flew around 450 kilometers.

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