In his address to the United Nations General Assembly, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the time for dialogue with North Korea was over.
“Again and again, attempts to resolve issues through dialogue have all come to naught. In what hope of success are we now repeating the very same failure a third time?” he said. “What is needed to do that is not dialogue, but pressure,” he warned.
He also backed the US which threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea if the attacks continued.
“We consistently support the stance of the United States: that ‘all options are on the table,” he added.
Pyongyang in recent weeks detonated another nuclear bomb and fired a series of missiles over or near Japan.
He voiced alarm at North Korea’s military progress, which he said had brought the regime to the threshold of mastering hydrogen bombs and intercontinental ballistic missiles, which would be able to strike the United States.
Abe demanded the strict implementation of UN sanctions on Kim Jong-un’s regime, the latest round of which includes a ban on the country’s textile exports and a freeze on work permits to North Korean guest workers.
But Abe also warned that global credibility was on the line, as North Korea was “allowed such self- indulgence” in its defiance of the Security Council.
“North Korea is attempting to dismiss with a smirk the efforts towards disarmament we have assiduously undertaken over the years,” Abe said while highlighting the limited effects years of sanctions had had on North Korea.
Pyongyang’s economic partner China called for dialogue to resolve the crisis, while Sweden called for both implementation of UN sanctions and dialogue to bring peace to the Korean peninsula.
(With inputs from agencies)