16 March 2017

Mozambique: Nyusi and Abe Condemn North Korea Missile Launches

Tokyo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday sharply condemned North Korea for its nuclear programme.

A joint statement issued in Tokyo after talks between the two leaders said they “condemned in the strongest terms North Korea's nuclear tests and repeated missile launches and underlined the need to maintain peace, security and stability in the region by fully implementing the relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions.”

This statement came just ten days after the Pyongyang regime had launched four missiles into the Sea of Japan, which fell about 200 kilometres from the Japanese coast.

Nyusi and Abe “urged North Korea to refrain from any provocation and to fully comply with UN Security Council resolutions and other international commitments”.

Nyusi, the statement said, “expressed his support for the Prime Minister's efforts to pursue a peaceful solution” to the questions of North Korea's nuclear and missile tests, and its abductions of Japanese. The abductions occurred between 1977 and 1983. The North Korean regime admitted abducting 13 Japanese, but the Japanese government says the figure was at least 17, and could have been much higher.

This is the first public condemnation of North Korea's nuclear tests by a Mozambican leader. Mozambique has longstanding relations with North Korea, which provided some military support for the national liberation struggle against Portuguese colonial rule. After independence North Korea provided assistance in various areas, including agriculture, health, culture and defence, and some Mozambican officers received military training in Korea.

Abe also explained to Nyusi Japan's position on the tensions in the South China Sea. According to the statement “Nyusi stated that Mozambique respects Japan's position on maritime security”. The two leaders “expressed their strong opposition to any unilateral actions that could alter the status quo and increase tensions”.

They also reaffirmed their commitment “to maintaining a rules-based maritime order in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law, including those reflected in the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea”.

Nyusi and Abe stressed the important of cooperation on maritime security “including fighting against piracy, illegal fishing and other illegal maritime activities, through capacity building and enhancing maritime connectivity between Asia and Africa to build a free and open Indo-Pacific region”.

They agreed that reform of the United Nations Security Council, including the expansion of both permanent and non-permanent members, “should be expeditiously advanced to make it more legitimate, representative and effective”.

Nyusi thanked Japan for its “leading role in contributing to Africa's development through the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD)”. They stressed “the unique role that TICAD has played as an open, inclusive and transparent forum to address common challenges in Africa”. Abe thus welcomed Mozambique's offer to host the TICAD VI Follow-up Ministerial Meeting in Maputo later this year.

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