Photo/IllutrationPrime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, meets with United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres during the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters in New York on Sept. 24. (AP Photo)

UNITED NATIONS--Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday expressed concerns about the Middle East situation and urged Iran to take actions "grounded in the wisdom derived from its rich history."

In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Abe called the Sept. 15 attacks on Saudi oil facilities "an extremely contemptible crime that holds the international economic order hostage."

He did not, however, specify who Japan thought was behind the attacks, which Riyadh, Washington and the leading EU powers have blamed on Iran. Japan has traditionally had friendly ties with Iran and Abe has been trying to ease the tensions between Tehran and Tokyo's closest ally, Washington.

"It is my own unchanging role to call on Iran as a major power to take actions that are grounded in the wisdom derived from its rich history," Abe said, noting that Japan shared concerns regarding the Middle East situation.

Abe met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani earlier in the day.

Abe also said he supported U.S. President Donald Trump's approach to North Korea.

"The approach by which the two leaders talk candidly with each other and try to work out the issues at hand while seeing a bright future ahead has changed the dynamics surrounding North Korea," he said.

Abe said he wants to meet the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un.

Abe says he's "determined to meet Kim Jong Un myself face to face, without attaching any conditions."

He says he wants Japan to normalize relations with North Korea "as well as settling the unfortunate past."

Japan and North Korea are uneasy neighbors. Japan colonized Korea in the years before war split it into two nations, and numerous issues from Japan's close relationship to the United States to the abductions of Japanese citizens over many years have kept relations tense.