NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who is on a four-day visit to Japan, says a "global response" is needed to thwart North Korea's threats.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (L), who is on a four-day visit to Japan, shakes hands with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Abe's official residence in Tokyo on October 31, 2017.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (L), who is on a four-day visit to Japan, shakes hands with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Abe's official residence in Tokyo on October 31, 2017. (AFP)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday called on North Korea to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes saying a "global response" is needed to thwart Pyongyang's threats. 

"We agree that they pose a global threat, which requires a global response," Stoltenberg said in Tokyo during a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. 

Both leaders condemned North Korea over the latter's nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches saying they are in "flagrant violation" of the UN resolutions. 

"[We] condemn in the strongest terms North Korea’s nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches, which are in flagrant violation of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions," said a joint statement.

NATO and Japan discussed cooperation in addressing security challenges in the region though NATO has not taken a high-profile role in trying to resolve the North Korean standoff in recent years.

Both leaders called on the UN member states "to implement fully and transparently" relevant UN Security Council resolutions, and to "apply decisive pressure on the North Korean regime to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile" programmes.

Calling NATO and Japan "natural partners," Stoltenberg stressed the importance of working together to face shared challenges.

Roping in China

Pyongyang has undertaken unprecedented missile testing programme in recent months, as well as its biggest nuclear test yet in early September.

Stoltenberg's trip to Tokyo comes ahead of US President Donald Trump's first official visit to Asia, which starts in Japan on Sunday.

Talks about North Korea are expected to dominate a trip that will include a stop in Beijing, where Trump is expected to pressure China’s leadership to act more decisively against Pyongyang. 

China is North Korea’s major ally and trading partner.

Trump has warned North Korea it would be totally destroyed if it threatened the United States with ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons. 

North Korea stoked tensions last week when it reiterated a threat to conduct an atmospheric nuclear test over the Pacific Ocean in a demonstration of its nuclear capability.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies