On Monday, Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sided with President Donald Trump, agreeing to take further action against North Korea following its latest missile launch.
Abe praised Trump’s pledge to “take all necessary measures to protect” Japan.
He also called on China and Russia to do more to stop Pyongyang.
“We have made consistent efforts to resolve the North Korean problem in a peaceful manner, but North Korea has ignored that entirely and escalated the situation in a one-sided way,” Abe said, according to Bloomberg. “The international community, starting with China and Russia, must take this obvious fact seriously and increase pressure.”
Abe said Japan would take concrete steps to upgrade defense system and capabilities under the firm solidarity with the U.S. and do as much as they can to protect the safety of the Japanese people.
The White House said in a statement after the phone call that the two leaders “agreed that North Korea poses a grave and growing direct threat to the United States, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and other countries near and far,” Reuters reported.
The call between the two world leaders took place just hours after the U.S., Japanese, and South Korea militaries spent 10 hours conducting bomber-jet drills over the Korean peninsula.
The training mission was a direct response to North Korea’s recent ballistic missile launches and nuclear program, and part of the U.S. regular commitment to defending its allies in the Asia-Pacific region, the general’s statement said.
“The time for talk is over. The danger the North Korean regime poses to international peace is now clear to all,” said United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley in a statement.
North Korea conducted test launches of ICBMs on July 3 and July 28, and has claimed that its missile are now capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.
On Saturday, two U.S. Air Force B-1B bombers, under the command of U.S. Pacific Air Forces, joined allies from the South Korean and Japanese air forces in sequenced bilateral missions.