Second Day of the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting
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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was staying in Viet Nam to participate in the 14th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting and other activities, spent his second day attending the APEC Economic Leaders' Retreat II.
During the meeting, in addition to economic issues, the leaders also discussed their commitment to the denuclearization of North Korea and the abduction issue as part of the major agenda. Thereby Prime Minister Abe asserted Japan's position that North Korea's missile launches and nuclear test pose a serious threat to the international community and can never be tolerated. Prime Minister Abe also expressed Japan's desire for an early resolution to the abduction issue in coordination with the international community.
After the meeting, Prime Minister Abe joined the leaders of other participating countries to take commemorative photographs, all clad in ethnic garments of Viet Nam.
In the Ha Noi Declaration announced after these programs, the leaders reaffirmed that the resumption of the multilateral trade negotiations (Doha Round) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) remains a top priority of APEC. The leaders also issued a special joint statement which reaffirmed their determination to observe the multilateral trading framework. They furthermore decided on further studies on ways and means to promote regional economic integration, including a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific as a long-term prospect, to be reported to the 2007 APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Australia.
The chair's statement expressed resolve for a peaceful resolution of North Korea's nuclear issue and strong concern over the country's missile launches and nuclear test. It also called on North Korea for concrete action toward its denuclearization and urged member countries to fully implement the United Nations' relevant resolutions to impose sanctions on North Korea. Following the announcement of the statement, the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting concluded its two-day programs.