US and Japan vow to take ‘all necessary measures’ to protect allies from North Korea

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Donald Trump and Shinzo Abe have agreed to take fresh action against North Korea as they pledged to take “all necessary measures to protect allies” from the nuclear-armed state.

The US President and Japanese Prime Minister held a telephone call on Monday and agreed on the need for more measures aimed at curbing the country’s military ambitions, just hours after America’s ambassador to the United Nations said Washington was “done talking about North Korea”.

Mr Abe told reporters after his conversation with Mr Trump on Monday that repeated efforts by the international community to find a peaceful solution to the North Korean issue had yet to deter Pyongyang.

“International society, including Russia and China, need to take this seriously and increase pressure,” he said.

Mr Abe added that he backed Mr Trump’s “commitment to taking all necessary measures to protect allies”.

The pair did not discuss military action against North Korea, nor what would constitute the crossing of a “red line” by Pyongyang, Deputy Chief Cabinet spokesman Koichi Hagiuda said.

A White House statement after the phone call said 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”.

It said Mr Trump “reaffirmed our ironclad commitment” to defend Japan and South Korea from any attack, “using the full range of United States capabilities”.

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the talk between Mr Abe and Mr Trump lasted for about 50 minutes.

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