Japan will seek the adoption of a joint statement at the July 15-17 Group of Eight summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, to denounce North Korea’s missile launches Wednesday, government sources said Thursday.

Besides the G8, Tokyo is also preparing to step up pressure on Pyongyang at the United Nations by seeking a Security Council resolution on sanctions against North Korea, which defied international calls against the launches.

Foreign Minister Taro Aso, when he talked with his Russian c ounterpart, Sergei Lavrov, over the phone Wednesday night, called for Russia’s support in bringing out a “resolute message” aimed at North Korea both at the Security Council and at the G8 summit.

Russia is host to the annual G8 summit this year, in which the U.S., Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Japan and Italy are also participating.

Moscow, which maintains friendly ties with North Korea, may move toward putting a message in the form of a chairman’s summary at the summit.

At the U.N., Russia, together with China, is also wary over adopting a U.N. resolution sponsored by Japan calling for sanctions.

Following the missile launches, which included a Taepodong-2 ICBM that apparently failed, Japan began a diplomatic drive to rally international support for its plan for the UNSC to adopt a resolution to condemn the launches and impose sanctions on the North.

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