Guterres, Abe reaffirm vow to maximize pressure on North Korea

Guterres, Abe reaffirm vow to maximize pressure on North Korea

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres was commenting on Pyongyang's nuclear and missile ambitions after meeting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Abe, who spoke to reporters with Guterres, reiterated that dialogue needed to be meaningful and aimed at denuclearisation.

Feltman, the highest-level United Nations official to visit North Korea since 2011, met with Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho and Vice Minister Pak Myong Guk during a four-day visit that he described as "the most important mission I have ever undertaken".

"The worst possible thing that could happen is for us all to sleepwalk into a war that might have very dramatic circumstances", he said.

"We anticipate that Hong's visit will serve as an opportunity to further solidify cooperation between South Korea, the U.S. and Japan in resolving the North's nuclear threats and help allay the security concerns of the global community as well as our citizens", Chang Je-won, the party's spokesman, said.

Guterres said those sanctions need to be implemented "by North Korea first of all, but also fully implemented by all the other countries whose role is crucial".

"We fully agreed that denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is indispensable to regional peace and stability", Abe said.

Chinese Deputy Ambassador Wu Haitao said the council's discussion of rights abuses in North Korea was "counterproductive" at a time when tensions are running high on the Korean peninsula.

China, North Korea's ally, has sought every year to block any discussion of human rights in North Korea, arguing that the Human Rights Council in Geneva was the forum for those concerns, and not the Security Council.

Hong Joon-pyo will depart for Japan on Wednesday amid growing security concerns in both countries sparked by North Korea's persistent provocations, including the November 29 test of an intercontinental ballistic missile.

United Nations political affairs chief Jeffrey Feltman said on Tuesday that senior North Korean officials did not offer any type of commitment to talks during his visit to Pyongyang last week, but he believes he left "the door ajar".

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