Japan

Abe, Macron discuss N Korea, Iran

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed Friday to work together to keep "maximum pressure" on North Korea to abandon its nuclear and missile weapons in a "complete, verifiable and irreversible" manner.

The Japanese and French leaders met in St Petersburg, Russia, on the sidelines of an international economic forum a day after U.S. President Donald Trump canceled a June 12 meeting in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

In their third summit, Abe and Macron also talked about the Iran nuclear deal from which Trump withdrew the United States, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.

Abe said Japan supports the 2015 pact, and Macron explained the "new deal" he proposed during a summit with Trump last month, according to the ministry.

The pact aimed at ensuring Tehran does not develop nuclear weapons was signed between Iran and six major powers — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.

As part of efforts to boost bilateral security ties, Abe and Macron agreed to seek to sign an acquisition and cross-servicing agreement, which allows the two countries to provide ammunition, water, food and other supplies to each other, the ministry also said.

"We would like to dramatically promote ties between Japan and France, which are special partners," Abe said at the start of the talks over lunch.

As this year marks the 160th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties, "Japonismes 2018" introducing Japanese culture will take place in France, mainly in Paris.

Abe said he is looking forward to taking part in the opening ceremony on July 12 as well as the Bastille Day military parade two days later.

© KYODO

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