South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday agreed to increase pressure on the North Korea to an “extreme” level during a phone conversation following the North Korea’s missile launch in the previous day, China’s Xinhua news agency reported.

Moon and Abe held the telephone conversation for about 25 minutes in the morning, according to the presidential Blue House. It was the fifth phone talk between the two leaders since Moon took office on May 10.

The phone conversation was held at the request of the Japanese side.

During the phone dialogue, Moon and Abe shared a view that pressure on the North Korea should be raised to an “extreme” level to induce the North Korea to come to a dialogue table, Moon’s spokesman Park Soo-hyun told a press briefing.

The shared view followed the North Korea’s test launch on Tuesday of an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM), called Hwasong-12, which flew over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.

The UN Security Council strongly condemned the missile launch, and US President Donald Trump said, “all options are on the table” after the IRBM test by Pyongyang.

Moon and Abe also agreed to push for new UN Security Council sanctions against the North Korea and to make efforts towards cooperation from China and Russia during the course, the spokesman said.

China on Tuesday called on all parties involved in the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue to refrain from provoking each other and raising tension.

“All parties should exercise restraint and work together to maintain peace and stability on the Peninsula,” said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying at a daily press briefing when commenting on the missile launch by the North Korea.

The past has proven that pressure and sanctions alone will not settle the issue. The Peninsula nuclear issue is long-standing, intricate and complex, she said.

“The only solution is to resolve the legitimate security concerns of all parties in a balanced way through dialogues. That is the way to break the vicious cycle of endless nuclear tests, missile launches and military drills,” said Hua.



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