Moon, Abe Discuss Sanctions Against N.Korea

      September 08, 2017 11:43

      President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday agreed to try and persuade Russia to take part in international sanctions against North Korea.

      Meeting on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia, the two leaders decided to set aside conflict over historical issues for the time being to address the North Korean nuclear and missile threat.

      "The two leaders agreed now is not the time to seek dialogue but to impose ultimate pressure and sanctions on the North," presidential press secretary Yoon Young-chan said. "They decided to pursue a new UN Security Council resolution with the strongest-ever sanctions including an oil embargo."

      Moon said, "We need to put maximum pressure and sanctions on North Korea with the international community so it gives up its nuclear and missile programs, and ultimately resolve these issues through peaceful means."

      Abe vowed to try and persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to impose an oil embargo on North Korea. The Russian leader on Wednesday rejected Moon's calls to do so.

      President Moon Jae-in (right) and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pose with mascots for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia on Thursday. /Newsis

      The two sides also agreed to tread carefully on historical disputes, including a 2015 deal compensating former Korean sex slaves and forced laborers from the time of the Japanese occupation, in order to prevent these issues from obstructing joint efforts to deter North Korea.

      A high-ranking Cheong Wa Dae official said, "The two leaders decided to deal with the historical issues from a future-oriented point of view so they will not damage the two nations' relations, especially at this time when tension is high in all of Northeast Asia following North Korea's nuclear test."

      Abe invited Moon to a summit of South Korea, Japan and China in Tokyo, although the prospects of such a meeting remain dim amid opposition from Beijing. Abe also said he would welcome Moon to Japan before the trilateral meeting.

      The last time a trilateral summit took place was in November 2015 in Seoul. 

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