Putin and Abe hash over Korean Peninsula’s denuclearization

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told Russian President Vladimir Putin at a meeting in Vietnam’s Da Nang on Friday that he was ready to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Opening his meeting with Abe, Putin congratulated the Japanese politician on the convincing victory of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in the general election in late October.

“In general, our relations are developing consistently, and I’m glad about that. Political dialogue has stepped up and economic ties are developing. But certainly, there are always issues that need to be further discussed. I’m glad to have a chance to meet today and talk about this,” Putin said.

The Japanese prime minister has praised the Russian president for cooperation efforts in the region:

“Thanks to this we will be able to continue our cooperation with Vladimir in the future,” he said. “As for international issues, I’m ready to hold an exchange of views on our cooperation for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” Abe said.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula remain high as North Korea actively develops its nuclear and missile programs, while the US and its allies in the region carry out their military maneuvers.

In July, North Korea conducted two ballistic missile tests, which triggered a sharp response from the United States, Japan and South Korea. On August 29 and September 15, North Korea fired ballistic missiles, which flew over Japan’s Hokkaido Island and plunged into the Pacific Ocean. On September 3, Pyongyang announced a successful hydrogen bomb test.

The UN Security Council stepped up sanctions against North Korea.