Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday he and President Donald Trump agreed to take further action against North Korea following its latest missile launch.
Abe told reporters after the call that Trump pledged to “take all necessary measures to protect” Japan and that Abe praised his commitment to do so.
He also called on China and Russia to do more to stop Pyongyang.
“We have made consistent efforts to resolve the North Korean problem in a peaceful manner, but North Korea has ignored that entirely and escalated the situation in a one-sided way,” Abe said, according to Bloomberg. “The international community, starting with China and Russia, must take this obvious fact seriously and increase pressure.”
Abe said Japan would pursue concrete steps to bolster defense system and capabilities under the firm solidarity with the U.S. and do utmost to protect the safety of the Japanese people.
The White House said in a statement after the phone call that the two leaders “agreed that North Korea poses a grave and growing direct threat to the United States, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and other countries near and far,” Reuters reported.
The call between the two world leaders comes hours after the U.S., Japanese and South Korea militaries spent 10 hours conducting bomber-jet drills over the Korean peninsula.
The training mission was a response to North Korea’s recent ballistic missile launches and nuclear program, and part of the U.S. regular commitment to defending its allies in the Asia-Pacific region, the general’s statement said.
“The time for talk is over. The danger the North Korean regime poses to international peace is now clear to all,” said United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley in a statement.
North Korea conducted test launches of ICBMs on July 3 and July 28, and has claimed that its weapons can now reach the U.S. mainland.
On Saturday, two U.S. Air Force B-1B bombers, under the command of U.S. Pacific Air Forces, joined counterparts from the South Korean and Japanese air forces in sequenced bilateral missions.