Japan, ASEAN leaders meet to discuss 'free and open' regional order

Japan, ASEAN leaders meet to discuss 'free and open' regional order

Abe has said rescuing Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s is a "top priority" for his Cabinet, but if the military option is taken in response to North Korea's growing nuclear and missile threat, it would inevitably jeopardize the abductees' lives.

Condemning Pyongyang's human rights record, Trump said in the speech, "We know it kidnapped a sweet 13-year-old Japanese girl from a beach in her own country to enslave her as a language tutor for North Korea's spies".

In September 2002, Abe accompanied then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to North Korea as a deputy chief Cabinet secretary and asked him to take a hardline stance toward the country, which helped draw words of apology for the abductions from the country's then leader, Kim Jong Il.

"We have said it several times already in the past that it is not to the interest of North Korea to swagger around and threaten the world, of keeping us hostage with the atomic weapons", Duterte told Abe.

In brief remarks prior to media being ushered out of the meeting, Turnbull said North Korea's "recklessness" needed to be stopped, while Abe said the most immediate challenge was to ensure regional peace and stability. "It is bad, it puts a strain on everybody, not only in Japan but all over the world", said Duterte.

This statement was echoed by Japan Foreign Press Secretary Norio Maruyama, who told media at a press briefing the worldwide community must create conditions that leave North Korea with "no other choice" but to seek dialogue with other nations.

"That is why we are persuading him, maybe pleading with him to stop the aggressive posture".

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and United States President Donald Trump have shared jokes regarding trade deals during a leaders' summit in the Philippines.

Japan and South Korea, East Asian countries that also host U.S. military installations, are likewise bracing for possible missile attacks. He also proposed that Japan and China cooperate in doing business in third countries. "I hope that through this Summit, we can build consensus and send a positive signal that we firmly support regional integration and advance East Asia Economic Community so as to benefit the people and the country in the region", Li said.

The North Korea issue was also mentioned during bilateral talks between President Rodrigo Dutete and Abe.