VIENTIANE (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday that strong pressure from the international community was the only way to halt North Korea's rocket and nuclear tests and that economic sanctions needed to be implemented "strictly".

"We need to make them understand North Korea will be further isolated from the international community if they continue with nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches," Abe told reporters in Vientiane, where he is attending several regional conferences.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Nick Macfie)