Abe, Lee vow unity against North Korean threat


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Lee Myung Bak said Wednesday that they will coordinate closely with each other and the United States in dealing with North Korea, which conducted its third nuclear test Tuesday, a Japanese official said.

Speaking by telephone, Abe and Lee agreed on the need for the U.N. Security Council to adopt a new resolution imposing fresh or additional sanctions on North Korea in response to the test, which was in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

In seeking a new resolution, Abe told Lee that China’s response is very important, the official said.

China is one of the five permanent, veto-wielding members of the Security Council and has close ties with North Korea. South Korea holds the rotating presidency of the 15-nation council this month.

On the past abductions of Japanese and South Korean nationals by North Korea, Abe and Lee confirmed their countries will continue to call for swift resolutions, the official said.

Abe, who returned as prime minister in December, expressed his eagerness to resolve the issue while in office and asked for further support, while Lee said North Korea should resolve the matter promptly, the official said.

Resolutions in the offing


The ruling Liberal Democratic Party is considering having the Lower House adopt a resolution denouncing North Korea’s latest nuclear test.

The LDP plans to propose the Lower House resolution to opposition parties, LDP parliamentary affairs chief Ichiro Kamoshita told reporters Tuesday.

LDP Secretary General Shigeru Ishiba, in a speech Tuesday, underscored the importance of strengthening Japanese sanctions against North Korea. He also called on the U.S. to redesignate North Korea as a state that sponsors terrorism.