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Japan foreign minister and U.N. chief agree on need to keep North Korea sanctions

Kyodo

Foreign Minister Taro Kono and visiting U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres agreed Thursday on the need to maintain sanctions against North Korea to prompt it to denuclearize.

Kono and Guterres also confirmed they will cooperate in nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation toward the goal of creating a world free of nuclear weapons, according to the Foreign Ministry.

As Tokyo has been calling for U.N. reform, Kono expressed hope for further intergovernmental debate on the issue with the participation of all members, and voiced support for Guterres’ initiative to make the United Nations more efficient, a ministry official said.

Kono and Guterres also discussed the situation in the Middle East, climate change and the issue of Rohingya Muslim refugees who have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar due to a military crackdown.

They held talks in Nagasaki, where Guterres became the first sitting U.N. chief to attend the city’s annual ceremony to mark the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing on Aug. 9.