Japan's foreign minister Taro Kono says agreed with US on close cooperation over North Korea

Taro Kono, Japan's foreign minister, speaks to members of the media in Tokyo on Aug 29, 2017.
Taro Kono, Japan's foreign minister, speaks to members of the media in Tokyo on Aug 29, 2017. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

TOKYO (REUTERS, AFP) - Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said on Monday (Sept 4) he and United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have agreed to cooperate closely in order to exert pressure on North Korea through the United Nations.

"We agreed on close cooperation between Japan and the United States to exert maximum pressure on North Korea and the UN, including the adoption of Security Council resolutions," Kono told reporters after a phone call with Tillerson.

Kono and Tillerson spoke after reclusive North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the White House said it stands ready to use its nuclear capabilities in the event the North continues to threaten it or its allies. 

After North Korea’s latest provocative test, President Donald Trump spoke with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan to discuss North Korea’s claimed hydrogen bomb test on Sept 3, a White House statement said.

“President Trump reaffirmed the commitment of the United States to defending our homeland, territories, and allies using the full range of diplomatic, conventional, and nuclear capabilities at our disposal.”

North Korea said on Sunday it had tested an advanced hydrogen bomb for a long-range missile, prompting the threat of a "massive" military response from the US if it or its allies were threatened.

The United Nations Security Council was set to meet later on Monday to discuss fresh sanctions against the isolated regime.