Photo/IllutrationJapan's Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera addresses the second plenary session of the 17th International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-la Dialogue, an annual defense and security forum in Asia, in Singapore, on June 2. (AP Photo)

SINGAPORE--Japan, finding itself effectively sidelined in moves to hold a historic meeting between the leaders of the United States and North Korea, called June 2 for no let-up in pressure on the nuclear issue until Pyongyang demonstrated "verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of its weapons of mass destruction."

Addressing the Asia Security Summit, also referred to as the International Institute for Strategic Studies's Shangri-La Dialogue, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera urged other nations not to reward North Korea for simply responding to calls for dialogue, reminding them of Pyongyang's past history of broken promises.

The forum was held less than two weeks before a scheduled June 12 meeting here between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump.

Onodera called on other nations to continue applying pressure on North Korea to dismantle its nuclear and missile programs, saying that step was "indispensable" to ensuring peace will prevail.

"Many nations and regions in the world, including the mainland United States, now face the prospect that they fall within range" of those missiles, Onodera said.

Sounding a more positive note, Onodera expressed expectations that the Trump-Kim summit would lead to "actual progress" in reducing North Korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles and serve as "an opportunity to resolve the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by Pyongyang" decades ago.

Trump has pledged to raise the latter topic if the talks go ahead.

Onodera also referred to the stage when North Korea will be required to implement specific measures regarding its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

He said Japan would be prepared to cooperate in nuclear weapons inspection and the verification process once the arsenal was dismantled if North Korea was "serious about abandoning its weapons of mass destruction."

He said one way Japan might cooperate would be through the deployment of Self-Defense Forces members to the international agency that monitors stockpiles of chemical weapons.

Onodera noted that North Korea since the 1990s had repeatedly pledged to denuclearize and created an atmosphere of reconciliation only to renege and crush peace hopes held by the international community.