Abe supports US-Japan cooperation on North Korea

by .
The Japan News/Yomiuri

TOKYO (Tribune News Service) — Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed his support for Washington's determination to deter the use of chemical weapons in Syria in a telephone conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday morning. The two leaders also agreed to strengthen cooperation over the problem of North Korea developing nuclear arms and missiles.

The 45-minute talks were requested by the U.S. government to explain the Syria attack.

Seeking understanding from Abe, Trump said innocent Syrian civilians, including women and children, were severely harmed. The U.S. president also said the attacks were conducted to ensure chemical weapons would never be used again.

Responding to this, Abe conveyed his intention to cooperate with the United States.

The government "supports the determination of the U.S. government to carry out its responsibility of deterring the proliferation and use of chemical weapons," the prime minister said.

Trump did not refer to details such as evidence that the Bashar Assad administration of Syria used chemical weapons, or the justifiability of the United States conducting military attacks without a U.N. Security Council resolution.

The U.S. president also spoke about the U.S.-China summit meeting on Thursday and Friday, in which North Korean issues were discussed.

Bearing in mind that Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to increase pressure on North Korea, Abe told the U.S. president that the Japanese government is "paying considerable attention to China's response."

"I highly praised the [U.S.] president's strong commitment to the peace and security of its allies and the world," Abe told reporters after the talks.

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