Abe, Guterres Agree To Keep Sanctions On N.korea

Abe, Guterres agree to keep sanctions on N.Korea

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and visiting UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres have agreed to keep UN sanctions on North Korea in place to have the North take concrete steps toward its full denuclearization.

Guterres met Abe in Tokyo on Wednesday morning. He is scheduled to attend a ceremony on Thursday in Nagasaki, southwestern Japan, to mark the 73rd anniversary of the US atomic bombing of the city.

Abe told Guterres that he welcomes his attendance as the first UN Secretary-General to do so.

Guterres said the resilience the Japanese people showed after the 2 atomic bombings and their strong message for peace are very significant.

Abe and Guterres also discussed issues on North Korea.

They shared the view that UN sanctions based on Security Council resolutions need to be maintained to get North Korea to take concrete steps toward complete denuclearization.

They also agreed that the abductions of Japanese nationals by the North should be resolved as soon as possible.

Abe expressed support for the UN Secretary-General's initiative for UN structural reform. He said Japan will cooperate with the United Nations over the reform, including that of the Security Council.

Speaking to reporters after the talks, Abe said it is crucial for world leaders to visit Japan's atomic-bombed cities and deepen their knowledge about the catastrophe, in order to achieve a world without nuclear weapons.