Donald Trump and Shinzo Abe reiterate commitment to keep pressure on North Korea

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe makes a statement for the press while US President Donald Trump listens before a meeting at the Palace Hotel during the 72nd United Nations General Assembly. PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (REUTERS) - US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed in a telephone conversation on Wednesday (Oct 4) that pressure should be maintained on North Korea, a senior Japanese government official told reporters.

The two men also agreed that "dialogue for the purpose of dialogue was meaningless", the official said.

In recent weeks, North Korea has launched two missiles over Japan and conducted its sixth nuclear test, and may be fast advancing toward its goal of developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the United States mainland.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said last weekend that Washington was directly communicating with Pyongyang on its nuclear and missile programmes but that Pyongyang had shown no interest in dialogue.

Mr Trump later dismissed any prospect of talks with North Korea as a waste of time.

During the 12-minute telephone conversation, Mr Abe also offered condolences over the mass shooting in Las Vegas, and told Mr Trump that Japan was "100 per cent" behind the American people.

Mr Trump will be travelling to Japan, China, South Korea, Vietnam and the Philippines next month (November).

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