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    Japan, US Confirm Agreement to Increase Pressure on N.Korea Over Missile Tests

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    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford have confirmed that the Tokyo-Washington alliance is determined to continue exerting pressure on North Korea amid tensions around Pyongyang's missile program, Japan's Foreign Ministry said Friday in a statement.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — During the meeting, Dunford highlighted the solidity of the US-Japan military alliance, while Abe expressed his gratitude toward US President Donald Trump for his commitment to defend US allies.

    "As for the situation in North Korea, both sides have come to a mutual agreement to expand partnership between Japan and the United States, increase pressure [on North Korea] in cooperation with the international community, while stressing the importance of strict observance of the UN Security Council resolutions and agreeing to take concrete measures to extend the defense capabilities of Japan and the United States," the statement said.

    Prior to coming to Japan, Dunford also visited South Korea and China, where he also discussed the latest developments on the Korean Peninsula with the countries' high-rank officials.

    Tensions around Pyongyang's missile program have flared up in the recent weeks, following the adoption of the UN Security Council sanctions, which led to North Korea trading threats and warnings with the United States. Most notably, Pyongyang said it might consider an attack on the area near the US territory of Guam in the Western Pacific.

    In June, China initiated a road map for the settlement of North Korean crisis, a so-called double freeze plan, which outlines a scenario where there is simultaneous cessation of North Korea's nuclear activity and US-South Korean military exercises. The initiative has been supported by Russia but rejected by the United States. North Korea has yet to issue a response to the proposal.

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    Tags:
    missile tests, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), Japan, United States
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