Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Tuesday that it is important to change North Korea's policy by imposing a higher level of pressure on the country than ever before.

Abe told reporters that Japan wants to exercise leadership to bring about change in Pyongyang's policies through close cooperation with the international community.

The United Nations Security Council unanimously stepped up sanctions against North Korea on Monday over the country's sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3, imposing a ban on the country's textile exports and capping imports of crude oil.