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Japan, U.S., S. Korea vow to apply "maximum pressure" on N. Korea

Japan, the United States and South Korea vowed to apply "maximum
pressure" on North Korea to force it to abandon its nuclear and
ballistic missile program, according to a joint statement issued

The pledge was issued a day after the leaders of the three
countries met in Hamburg, Germany on the sidelines of the Group of 20
summit, and three days after North Korea's test-launch of an
intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting Alaska.

According to the statement released by the White House, U.S.
President Donald Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South
Korean President Moon Jae In "committed to continue to cooperate to
apply maximum pressure on the DPRK to change its path" and "refrain
from provocative and threatening actions."

DPRK is an acronym for the Democratic People's Republic of
Korea, North Korea's formal name.

The three leaders also urged North Korea to "take steps
necessary to return to serious denuclearization dialogue."

In the statement, they condemned the ICBM launch on Tuesday,
calling it a "major escalation" which violates U.N. Security Council
resolutions and underscores the "growing threat the DPRK poses" to
the three countries and around the world.

North Korea has claimed it successfully test-launched its first
ICBM potentially capable of reaching parts of the United States,
drawing condemnation from the international community. On Thursday,
Trump, Abe and Moon agreed to step up coordination in imposing new
Security Council sanctions on North Korea. (July 7)

From left: South Korean President Moon Jae In, US President Donald Trump, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe