Narendra Modi, Shinzo Abe discuss ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation


U.S. President Donald Trump raised North Korea's missile tests during talks on Monday with the prime ministers of Japan and Australia, and said "a lot" of progress had been made in negotiations on trade.

Manila: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday held wide-ranging talks with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe with a focus on further ramping up the special strategic partnership between the two Asian giants.

"We need to use every means, including the complete implementation of the (U.N.) Security Council resolutions, to raise pressure on North Korea to the maximum possible extent and make it change its policies", Abe said at the outset of the talks.

"The possibility can not be ruled out that a military attack would kill Japanese abductees, given that President Trump has threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea", the official said.

After firing missiles at a pace of about two or three a month since April, North Korean missile launches paused in September, after it fired a rocket that passed over Japan's northern Hokkaido island. "It is bad. It puts a strain on everybody, not only in Japan but all over the world", Duterte said.

"That is why we are persuading him, maybe pleading with him to stop the aggressive posture. The Philippines is about too far but, you know, nobody will save us from a holocaust if it happens", he added.

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On Sunday, Asean Secretary General Le Luong Minh told The Manila Times the de-escalation of tensions in the Korean Peninsula was the 10-member bloc's priority.

Japan, along with neighboring South Korea, stand as those most in danger from a North Korean missile or military attack.

Duterte also called on the Asean and its dialogue partners South Korea, Japan and China to maintain peace in the East Asia region.

"With the North Korea situation at an important phase, the role China ought to play is very big", Abe said. He also proposed that Japan and China cooperate in doing business in third countries.

"In the 50 years ahead, we want to lead together with ASEAN, which faces both the Indian and Pacific oceans, the development of a free and open global order based on the rule of law, building on (ASEAN's) development so far", Abe said.

He said Japan will supply rice to Laos and Myanmar this year through the APT emergency rice reserve agreement.