U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed on Friday to expand sanctions against North Korea for its continued development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, the White House said.
Meeting before a Group of Seven summit, Trump and Abe dedicated most of their discussions to the issue, aides said. “President Trump and Prime Minister Abe agreed their teams would cooperate to enhance sanctions on North Korea, including by identifying and sanctioning entities that support North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs,” the White House said in a statement.
“They also agreed to further strengthen the alliance between the United States and Japan, to further each country’s capability to deter and defend against threats from North Korea,” it said.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson this month called on countries all over the world to implement existing U.N. sanctions on North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile programs, adding that the U.S. administration would be willing to use secondary sanctions to target foreign companies that continue to do business with Pyongyang.
Most of North Korea’s trade is with its ally China, and so any hard-hitting secondary sanctions would likely target Chinese firms.