Aug 08, 2018 09:46 Asia/Tehran

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres agreed Wednesday to keep enforcing U.N. Security Council sanctions in hopes of reaching the goal of a denuclearized North Korea.

Iran press/ Asia:  In a press conference after their meeting at his office, Abe said, "We recognize it is necessary for the international community to maintain full implementation of sanctions based on the (U.N.) Security Council resolutions to draw concrete action from North Korea."

Guterres said he "fully supports the negotiations taking place between the United States and DPRK," toward the goal of "total denuclearization that is verifiable, that is irreversible."

The U.N. chief said his Nagasaki visit comes at a "very important moment" when the United Nations is "totally committed to the denuclearization of North Korea" and to promoting disarmament efforts.

Abe said he and Guterres both see the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s as important, but Abe has described it as top of his political agenda.

The prime minister also stated Japan will support Guterres' initiative to reform the international body. Tokyo has long pursued a permanent seat on the Security Council.

Guterres is visiting Japan to attend Thursday's ceremony marking the 73rd anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki as the first U.N. chief to do so. Abe hailed Guterres' participation in the annual service.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have eased somewhat since the North's leader Kim Jong Un declared his commitment to denuclearization in a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump at a historic summit in Singapore in June.

But negotiations between the countries have made little progress with Pyongyang yet to have made any concrete steps. A recent U.N. experts' report said North Korea has continued with its nuclear programs in breach of U.N. bans.


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