• Kyodo


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday strongly condemned North Korea’s missile launches at an ASEAN-related meeting, saying they are in clear violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

At the summit on the outskirts of Bangkok, Abe also urged the leaders of countries in ASEAN Plus Three — China, South Korea, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Japan — to fully implement U.N. sanctions on Pyongyang to achieve denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the Japanese government said.

Abe told the leaders he is eager to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “without conditions” to achieve a breakthrough over Pyongyang’s abductions of Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s, according to the government.

In recent months, North Korea has continued to test-fire weapons believed to be short-range ballistic missiles.

On Oct. 5, North Korea resumed working-level dialogue with the United States on denuclearization in Stockholm after months of stalemate, but the talks ended without progress.

North Korea has warned it may restart nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests unless negotiations with the United States move forward by the end of this year.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. All have diplomatic relations with North Korea, while Japan does not.

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