N Korea to dominate Abe-Putin summit, putting isles row aside

N Korea to dominate Abe-Putin summit, putting isles row aside

N Korea to dominate Abe-Putin summit, putting isles row aside

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok on Thursday, where responses to North Korea tensions are likely to top the agenda, brushing aside a territorial row that is usually the central issue for the two leaders.

Abe hopes to win Moscow’s support in strengthening pressure on North Korea through stricter U.N. Security Council sanctions following Pyongyang’s nuclear test Sunday — its sixth and most powerful to date.

Through repeated telephone talks, Abe has agreed with U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae In to “maximize” pressure on North Korea.

“Japan will take the lead to strengthen pressure on North Korea with the international community,” Abe told a meeting of his Liberal Democratic Party on Tuesday.

But Russia, even as it condemned the nuclear test, has said more pressure on North Korea will risk aggravating the current situation.

“We urge all interested parties to promptly return to dialogue and negotiations, the only possible way for a comprehensive settlement of the Korean Peninsula problems, including the nuclear problem,” said a Russian Foreign Ministry statement released after the nuclear test.

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