Abe in Latvia Calls for Pressure on North Korea

  • Japan’s prime minister is visiting the Baltics, Balkans
  • Abe seeks swift ratification of trade accord with EU

The international community should step up pressure on North Korea to help defuse the stand-off over the isolated country’s pursuit of long-range nuclear weapons, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Saturday during a visit to Latvia.

“As the international order founded on the rule of law is being challenged, our two nations need to closely work together to maintain and strengthen the system,” Abe said in a statement after meeting Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis. The two leaders agreed “on the importance of reinforcing pressure on North Korea,” he said.

Shinzo Abe in Riga on Jan. 13.

Photographer: Ilmars Znotins/AFP via Getty Images

Fully implementing United Nations sanctions “has a role to play to raising the pressure and to resolve the issues of North Korea” Norio Maruyama, press secretary of the delegation, told reporters after Abe’s statement.

Abe also called for a swift ratification of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, a trade deal that was agreed to last month, but still needs support from EU member countries.

Japan’s prime minister is on a five-day European visit, with stops in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania.

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