Duterte backs Japan in countering North Korea

Duterte backs Japan in countering North Korea

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his counterparts from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations opened the annual Japan-ASEAN summit Monday in Manila, where they are expected to discuss the shape of future cooperation in pursuit of a regional order based on the rule of law.

Australia has also been the target of threats from the rogue state for its close relationship with the US and South Korea.

At the meeting, Duterte, who chairs this year's ASEAN meetings, assured Abe of his support in Tokyo's campaign against North Korea.

"But I can assure you that in the matter of the interest of your country and mine, we are supporting you against what North Korea is doing", Duterte said.

At the beginning of the meeting, Mr Turnbull said the threat posed by North Korea and its leader Kim Jong-un was a key topic.

Since February, North Korea has launched 22 missiles during 15 tests. "And he should realize that he'd be responsible for ending life in this planet if his mind goes out of control", he added.

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He said the Japanese side was willing to work with China to push for the development of the strategic mutually-beneficial relationship between the two countries by marking the 40th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship next year.

"That is why we are persuading him, maybe pleading him to stop the aggressive posture because we are not... The Philippines is about too far but, you know, nobody will save us from a holocaust if it happens", he added.

The foreign minister stressed that North Korea's possession of nuclear weapons is a war deterrence to end the threat and to prevent the military invasion of the US.

While its shows of power have been met with heavy economic sanctions from the United Nations, it remains defiant and has on several occasions threatened to fire missiles over the USA territory of Guam.

This prompted the United States President Donald Trump to declare that he would meet any threat to his country with "fire and fury" that the world has never seen before.

Addressing South Korea's National Assembly last Wednesday Mr Trump insisted that the United States would "not be intimidated" by the dictator's rhetoric and called for other countries to respond to the "twisted regime's" threats with a sign of military force.

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