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Calls for More Pressure on Pyongyang as US Demands to Freeze North Korea Leader Assets | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Photo: Reuters via KCNA

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called on Thursday for the world to put the “greatest possible pressure” on North Korea to abandon its nuclear missile program.

“The international community must unite in applying the greatest possible pressure on North Korea,” he said just four days after Pyongyang staged its sixth and most powerful nuclear test to date, which it described as a “perfect success”.

“We must make North Korea immediately and fully comply with all relevant UN Security Council resolutions and abandon all its nuclear and ballistic missile programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner,” Abe insisted. 

“North Korea is escalating an overt challenge to the peace, prosperity, law and order of the region and indeed the entire world.”

His remarks were made on the sidelines of an economic forum in the Russian port city of Vladivostok which is also being attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and South Korea’s Moon Jae-In.

On Wednesday, Washington demanded an oil embargo on Pyongyang and a freeze on the foreign assets of its leader Kim Jong-Un in a dramatic bid to force an end to the perilous nuclear stand-off.

South Korea has also pushed for moves to cut off Pyongyang’s key supplies of fuel oil, but Russia has dismissed such a call, while China is also reluctant to take measures that could trigger instability or a refugee exodus on its frontier.

But Putin said on Thursday the Trump administration had shown the desire to defuse tensions over North Korea.

Putin said that whipping up military hysteria around the North Korean crisis was counterproductive, adding that Pyongyang would not end its nuclear and missile programs because it views them as its only means for self-defense.

“It’s impossible to scare them,” Putin said at the Vladivostok economic forum.

He said that, as an incentive to freeze its weapons programs, North Korea was being offered the prospect of an end
to sanctions. But the economic benefits of that, in Pyongyang’s eyes, are outweighed by the security risks.

“We are telling them that we will not impose sanctions, which means you will live better, you will have more good and tasty food on the table, you will dress better, but the next step, they think, is an invitation to the cemetery. And they will never agree with this.”