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Japan’s Abe – agreed with Trump, Putin on cooperation over North Korea

03 Sep 17. Reuters reported tonight that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed on Sunday that the international community must step up its response to North Korea after Pyongyang announced it had tested a hydrogen bomb.

Abe said he had agreed separately with Russian President Vladimir Putin to cooperate on North Korea.

“President Trump and I shared the view that we cannot overlook North Korea’s reckless act and that the international community must show its resolve by applying stronger pressure than had so far been used”, Abe told reporters after the call.

“We again confirmed that Japan and the United States are 100 percent together.”

It was their second phone call of the day and their fourth since North Korea fired a missile over Japan on Tuesday.

Abe said he and Putin agreed that “North Korea’s reckless act is a serious threat” and that they would maintain close contact on the issue.

He noted that he and the Russian leader are scheduled to meet this week on the sidelines of a gathering in Vladivostok.

Global Zero Urges Trump Administration To Pursue Direct Talks With North Korea

Earlier this morning, numerous sources reported confirmed seismic activity that indicates a sixth nuclear weapons test by North Korea. The test was followed by claims from the North that the device could be attached to a missile capable of hitting the continental United States.

In reaction to these reports, Derek Johnson, the executive director of Global Zero, the international movement for the elimination of nuclear weapons, issued the following statement:

“This latest nuclear test marks a new high-water line for the crisis with North Korea. Even if Kim Jong-un’s claims are exaggerated, it’s clear his nuclear capabilities are catching up with his provocative rhetoric. The situation cries out for full and immediate diplomatic intervention.

“The President’s threats of ‘fire and fury’ have obviously been dismissed. There are zero military options he can reach for that don’t carry horrific and untenable risks — including the very real possibility of nuclear war.

“Despite Trump’s position that ‘talking is not the answer,’ the reality is that immediate, direct talks is the only tool at our disposal that stands a chance of resolving this crisis without catastrophic loss of life. There are no viable alternatives.

“It’s difficult to understand why we wouldn’t engage rigorously where Obama’s so-called ‘strategic patience’ and Trump’s bluster have failed. Talking risks nothing. Not talking — as we see on an almost weekly basis — risks everything.

“The United States must make every effort to work constructively with its allies and China to get North Korea back to the negotiating table. This will require immediate crisis management talks with North Korea, China, Japan and South Korea to ensure that the situation does not escalate. It will also require the President to drop the bravado and unleash his diplomats to do their vital work.”

In June, Global Zero’s Nuclear Crisis Group released a set of urgent recommendations to avoid the use of nuclear weapons and called on national leaders to act now to reduce the unacceptably high risk of nuclear conflict. The report called for the United States and North Korea to begin immediate discussions, without any preconditions, to reduce the risk of conflict. Full denuclearization through the “Six Party” process, including a freeze on nuclear and missile tests, production of nuclear materials, suspensions of military exercises, and negotiation of a formal peace regime will take time, but must not be allowed to prevent urgently needed discussions to avoid escalation of nuclear risk.

The following nuclear security experts and members of the Nuclear Crisis Group are available to answer questions on the escalating crisis on the Korean Peninsula:

Jon Wolfsthal is a senior advisor to Global Zero. From 2014 to 2017, he served as special assistant to former U.S. president Barack Obama as senior director for arms control and nonproliferation at the National Security Council. In that post, he was the most senior White House official setting and implementing U.S. government policy on all aspects of arms control, nonproliferation, and nuclear policy. Prior to that, he served as the deputy director of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute for International Studies. From 2009 to 2012, he was the special adviser to then U.S. vice president Joe Biden for nuclear security and nonproliferation and as a director for nonproliferation on the National Security Council. He supported the Obama administration’s negotiation and ratification of the New START arms reduction agreement with the Russian Federation, and helped support the development of nuclear policy including through the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review.

Dr. Bruce G. Blair is the co-founder of Global Zero, the international movement for the elimination of nuclear weapons worldwide. He is also a research scholar in the Program on Science and Global Security at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Blair is an expert on expert on nuclear command and control, nuclear security policies and risks of nuclear weapons use. In 1999, he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship Prize for his work on de-alerting nuclear forces. From 2000-2012, Blair was the founder and president of the World Security Institute, and from 1987 to 2000, he was a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program at the Brookings Institution. He served as a project director at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment from 1982 to 1985. From 1970 to 1974, Blair served in the U.S. Air Force as a Minuteman ICBM launch control officer and as a support officer for the Strategic Air Command’s Airborne Command Post.

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