World Economy

Japan PM praises Trump's stance on North Korea amid evolving nuclear threat

North Korea threat entering new stage: Abe
North Korea threat entering new stage: Abe

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe praised the Trump administration's tough stance on North Korea as he warned of growing threats from the rogue nation on Monday.

In an exclusive joint interview with CNBC and Broadcast Satellite Japan, Abe welcomed President Donald Trump's approach on curbing North Korean nuclear aggression in light of failures by previous U.S. administrations.

"President Trump says all options are on the table. He is demonstrating this position both by words and by action. We regard this highly," he said.

The international community had increased pressure on North Korea under the notion of strategic patience during the Obama administration, but that did not stop the pariah state's nuclear development, Abe noted.

"We would like to resort to diplomatic and peaceful means in resolving this situation and I think on this point, the U.S. and Japan share the same views. However, we are not pursuing dialogue for the sake of dialogue. We must firmly and solidly stand upon the principle of action for action."

Earlier on Monday, Pyongyang announced that it had successfully conducted yet another ballistic missile test over the weekend. The launch was designed to assess whether the newly developed mid-to-long range rocket was capable of carrying a large-scale heavy nuclear warhead, according to North Korea's state-owned media.

President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the White House on February 10, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Mario Tama | Getty Images

"It is indeed very clear that the threat posed by North Korea's missile and nuclear program is now entering into a new stage. That is our recognition," Abe said.

While Trump has said he is prepared to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Abe called such a meeting "too premature," alluding to White House press secretary Sean Spicer's recent remarks that conditions for direct U.S.-North Korean talks had not yet been fulfilled.

Abe said he would continue discussing the North Korean matter with Trump at the G-7 summit in Taormina, Italy, later this month.

The international community must "exert proper pressure" and "create a situation to entice North Korea to change their position," Abe continued.

There may be further displays of provocation from Pyongyang, Abe warned, adding that Tokyo, Washington, Beijing, Soul and Moscow must work together to discourage further hostility from Pyongyang.

Should North Korea continue with nuclear tests, Japan will seek additional sanctions through fresh United Nations Security Council resolutions, Abe said.