Japan and Mongolia have agreed on coordinated action to press North Korea to stop its nuclear and missile programs after the reclusive state held its fifth nuclear test earlier this month despite international condemnation.
Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and his Mongolian counterpart, Tsend Munkh-Orgil, also confirmed during a meeting Tuesday their cooperation in addressing the long-stalled issue of Pyongyang’s abductions of Japanese nationals, the Foreign Ministry said.
Mongolia has diplomatic ties with North Korea while Japan does not. Ulan Bator has served as a venue for Japan-North Korea talks over the abductions issue on several occasions.
North Korea is now posing “a threat that has a dimension different from before and we must send a strong message,” Kishida told Munkh-Orgil, according to the ministry. Munkh-Orgil agreed to raise pressure on North Korea.
Following North Korea’s latest nuclear test on Sept. 9, Japan is seeking a fresh U.N. Security Council resolution to impose additional sanctions on North Korea, stressing the need for the international community to send a strong message that it will not tolerate further provocation by North Korea.
“Mongolia is an important regional partner that shares principle values” with Japan, Kishida said at the outset of the meeting, which was open to the media.
The ministers also agreed to strengthen economic ties between Japan and Mongolia after a bilateral free trade accord went into force in June.