World leaders share 'unprecedented sense of crisis' over North Korea, Abe says

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, U.S. President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull agreed on their countries' strong cooperation to play leading roles in securing regional peace and prosperity, according to officials with access to the 40-minute trilateral summit held in Manila on the sidelines of a series of meetings linked with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. "It's nearly a sentimental attachment for many years", President Duterte said as he ditched his prepared speech for the event.

"We are aware that you have been helping us, especially in Marawi even during the siege and we appreciate it very much".

He also thanked the Prime Minister for arranging his courtesy call withEmperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan, a memory he said he'll cherish forever.

"You were able to hang in there, I'm very proud of you", he said.

He likewise expressed his gratitude to Abe for turning over trainer aircraft, machineries and radar to the Philippines.

"One of the things that I would maybe remember for all time", he said of the rare opportunity to meet the imperial couple.

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 US territory of Guam.

"We should create a situation in which North Korea comes to us to ask for dialogue in exchange for changing their policies", Abe said. "It is bad. It puts a strain on everybody, not only on Japan but all over the world", the President said.

"He should realize that he'd be responsible for ending life on this planet if his mind goes out of control".

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. He also proposed that Japan and China cooperate in doing business in third countries.

Both Japan and China have poured money and attention in recent years into the strategically important Mekong region, which includes less economically developed members of ASEAN.

Vanessa Coleman

Comments