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September, 27, 2016

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Japan prime minister demands world find 'new means' to stop North Korea

UNITED NATIONS, United States--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday demanded that the world find a new way to halt the threat from North Korea after the long-sanctioned regime's nuclear and missile tests.

Abe, addressing the U.N. General Assembly, said that calculations about North Korea needed to change after its latest actions including the state's test of what it said was a miniaturized nuclear bomb for a warhead.

"There is no alternative but to say that the threat has now reached a dimension altogether different from what has transpired until now," Abe said.

"The threat to the international community has become increasingly grave and all the more realistic. It demands a new means of addressing it, altogether different from what we applied until yesterday," he said.

Abe did not spell out specific actions but said Japan would use its non-permanent seat on the Security Council to explore new options.

The right-leaning leader first rose to power with tough talk on North Korea and has made revision of Japan's U.S.-imposed pacifist constitution his signature issue.

But Japan has never fired a shot in anger since World War II and is constitutionally barred from offensive military operations.

Abe highlighted that Japan, the only nation to have suffered nuclear attack, was committed to the elimination of the ultra-destructive weapons.

Pointing to U.S. President Barack Obama's landmark visit to Hiroshima in May, Abe raised the specter of a North Korea willing to use nuclear weapons.

"This is a challenge posed to the conscience of humankind. Were we to overlook it, how would we justify it to our own consciences?" Abe said.

Long History of Sanctions

China and the United States are in talks on drafting a new Security Council resolution to punish North Korea, although such measures have not stopped Pyongyang in the past.

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