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Abe, Trump agree to lead pressure on N. Korea at G-20

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald
Trump agreed Monday to take the lead, together with South Korean
President Moon Jae In, in stepping up pressure on North Korea at the
upcoming Group of 20 summit.

In their telephone talks, Abe and Trump affirmed they will hold
a trilateral meeting with Moon on the sidelines of the G-20 summit
starting Friday in Germany, to discuss how the three countries should
cooperate to tackle the threat from the North, Deputy Chief Cabinet
Secretary Koichi Hagiuda said.

The White House, describing Pyongyang as presenting a "growing
threat," said Abe and Trump reaffirmed that the Japan-U.S. alliance
"stands ready to defend and respond to any threat or action taken by
North Korea."

Moon, who took office in May, has advocated dialogue with North
Korea, which continues to develop nuclear arms and ballistic missiles
in defiance of international sanctions, while Abe is calling for
increased pressure on the North rather than direct dialogue.

Trump and Moon agreed in Washington last Friday to work with
Japan and apply "maximum pressure" on North Korea, while leaving open
the door to dialogue "under the right circumstances."

According to Hagiuda, Abe told Trump of his praise for fresh
U.S. sanctions imposed last week on a Chinese bank and individuals
accused of laundering money for North Korea.

Washington arranged Monday's phone call in preparation for the
G-20, Hagiuda said. (July 3)