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Politics

North Korea's global threat needs global response: NATO chief

Stoltenberg sees collective security as guard against missile strikes

Jens Stoltenberg, secretary-general of NATO, voiced support for "economic, political and diplomatic pressure" on North Korea in an interview with The Nikkei.

BRUSSELS -- North Korea's nuclear and missile program is a "global threat" and "requires a global response," the secretary-general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization said Friday, while cautioning that "war would be disastrous."

With the possibility of a strike on members like the U.S. and European countries emerging, the defense body needs to work more closely with the likes of Japan and South Korea to turn up the heat on Pyongyang, Jens Stoltenberg told The Nikkei at NATO headquarters here.

On Sunday, he will head to Japan and confer with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about the threat, as well as meet with Foreign Minister Taro Kono and Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera. The North Korean menace will be "one of the main issues" they discuss, Stoltenberg said. He added that NATO supports the effort to put "economic, political and diplomatic pressure" on the country.

The defense body knows "a missile that can reach the West Coast of the U.S. will also have the range to reach Europe," Stoltenberg said, recognizing the worldwide reach of the problem. NATO intends to step up its contribution toward finding a solution, he said.

Stoltenberg suggested NATO's philosophy of deterrence through collective security would be effective in countering the missile threat. The body defends members "by sending the message to any potential adversary ... that an attack on one will trigger a response from all the alliance," he said, noting that no members have been attacked since the body was established in 1949.

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