The Latest: Abe says he’ll discuss NKorea at economic forum

September 6, 2017

A man watches a television screen showing U.S. President Donald Trump, right, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017. The signs read "Need sanctions on North Korea."(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The Latest on North Korea’s nuclear test and the world reaction (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he will discuss North Korea with the leaders of Russia and South Korea at an economic forum and will seek ways to get the North to change its policy.

He spoke to reporters in Japan on Wednesday before heading to the forum in Vladivostok, Russia.

Abe said, “We must make North Korea understand there is no bright future for the country if it pursues the current path.”

Abe is scheduled to hold talks separately with Russian President Vladimir Putin and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Thursday on the sidelines of the economic forum. He reportedly plans to propose Russia’s cooperation in supporting tougher U.N. sanctions against North Korea, including an oil embargo.


10 a.m.

Australia’s prime minister says after a phone call with President Donald Trump that both countries want to avoid conflict with North Korea.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull would not detail what steps Trump said he might take against North Korea during a 30-minute conversation.

Turnbull said he concluded after recent discussions with the leaders of Japan, Indonesia as well as Trump that: “Everybody wants to get this dangerous situation resolved, bring this reckless, dangerous, provocative regime to its senses without conflict.”

Turnbull told reporters: “A conflict would be catastrophic — everyone understands that.”

Turnbull said he agreed with Trump on the need for strong economic sanctions against North Korea.

Australia is a staunch U.S. military ally and hosts a U.S. Marine Corps presence in its north.


3:45 a.m.

The U.N. secretary-general is warning the U.S. and North Korea that “confrontational rhetoric may lead to unintended consequences” and stressing that the nuclear crisis must be solved diplomatically.

Antonio Guterres says it’s “absolutely crucial” that the U.N. Security Council is united in dealing with North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests and that the U.S., Russia, China, Japan and South Korea use one strategy.

Guterres told reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York on Tuesday that North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests threaten regional and international stability.

He accused North Korea’s leaders of “needlessly and recklessly (putting) millions of people at risk including its own citizens already suffering drought, hunger and serious violations of their human rights.”

Guterres urged communication and offered to support any efforts to peacefully resolve “this alarming situation.”


1 a.m.

Russia’s U.N. ambassador says that despite good intentions, sanctions against North Korea aren’t working and Moscow wants a new U.N. resolution to focus more on a political solution of the crisis over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

Vassily Nebenzia said Russia wants a reference to the need for political dialogue based on recent initiatives.

He told reporters at U.N. headquarters on Tuesday that the only initiative currently on paper is a Chinese-Russian proposal that would halt North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests in exchange for the U.S. and South Korea halting their joint military exercises.

But Nebenzia said Russia would welcome other initiatives, noting that the Swiss have offered to mediate, and “if that works, I’ll be happy.”

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley told an emergency Security Council meeting called in response to North Korea’s Sunday nuclear test that the U.S. wants a new U.N. resolution with tougher sanctions adopted by next Monday.

Nebenzia called that date “a little premature” and stressed that a military option should be “ruled out of any discussions.”

He said possible new economic sanctions would affect ordinary Koreans, not the nuclear or missile programs.


11 p.m.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has urged U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson “not to give in to emotions and show restraint” when dealing with North Korea.

North Korea on Sunday conducted its most powerful nuclear test to date, triggering U.S. warnings of a “massive military response.”

The Russian foreign ministry said in a statement that Lavrov told Tillerson in a phone call on Tuesday that political and diplomatic tools should be used to find a peaceful solution to the North Korean nuclear crisis.

Lavrov also said Moscow is “willing to consider” a U.S. draft resolution condemning North Korea’s nuclear test submitted to the U.N. Security Council if its stance opposing a military response is taken into account.


9:45 p.m.

U.S. President Donald Trump says he has given the go-ahead for Japan and South Korea to buy a “substantially increased amount” of sophisticated military equipment from the United States.

The move comes amid tensions over North Korea’s latest nuclear test. The U.S. is weighing a number of military, economic and diplomatic responses.

The White House said that in a phone call with South Korean’s president on Monday, Trump gave approval “in principle” to lifting previous restrictions on South Korean missile payloads and to approving “many billions” in weapons sales to South Korea.

In an early morning tweet Tuesday, Trump said, “I am allowing Japan & South Korea to buy a substantially increased amount of highly sophisticated military equipment from the United States.”


4 p.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has condemned North Korea’s latest nuclear test as a “flagrant violation” of international conventions, but also said there can only be a “diplomatic and peaceful solution” of the crisis.

Merkel, who was speaking to the German parliament on Tuesday, said North Korea’s distance from Germany should not keep the country from helping to end the crisis.

Merkel also talked to U.S. President Donald Trump late Monday to discuss the latest provocation by North Korea.

Both leaders “condemned North Korea’s continued reckless and dangerous behavior” and reaffirmed the importance of close coordination at the United Nations.


1:30 p.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for talks with North Korea, warning against “military hysteria.”

Putin said during a news conference in China on Tuesday that it was important that all parties including North Korea not face “threats of annihilation” and “step on the path of cooperation.”

“Whipping up military hysteria makes absolutely no sense in this situation,” Putin said. “This is a road to nowhere.”

Russia earlier condemned North Korea’s latest nuclear test as “provocative,” but said it does not support the idea of slapping North Korea with more sanctions.


1:15 p.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned North Korea’s latest nuclear test as provocation.

North Korea’s detonation of a hydrogen bomb on Sunday marked its most powerful nuclear test to date.

Putin said Tuesday at a news conference in China that Russia saw the test as “provocative.” But he stopped short of expressing support for imposing more U.N. sanctions on North Korea, and said Russia viewed them as “useless and ineffective.”

Putin said it was “ridiculous” that the United States first slapped Russia with sanctions carried in the same bill that penalized North Korea, and “then asked us to help impose sanctions on North Korea.”



Japanese lawmakers are demanding tougher U.N. sanctions on North Korea, after it conducted a sixth nuclear test over the weekend.

The resolution by Japan’s parliamentary committee condemns the nuclear test, and urges the Japanese government to take leadership in pushing for tougher punishment against Pyongyang, as measures are being discussed at the United Nations Security Council.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono told lawmakers it was time to increase pressure on North Korea and eliminate loopholes that allow some countries to continue trading with Pyongyang.

Update hourly