‘Had a very good conversation’: Trump, Abe discuss N Korea, trade

Washington: US President Donald Trump on Monday said that he had a “very good conversation” with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on North Korea and trade.

“Just spoke to Prime Minister Abe of Japan concerning North Korea and Trade. Very good conversation!” Trump tweeted.

The telephonic conversation between Trump and Abe comes days after North Korea fired multiple “projectiles” into the sea off its east coast.

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Later, the White House released a statement saying the two leaders discussed “recent developments on North Korea and reaffirmed US-Japan unity in how to achieve the final and fully verified denuclearisation” of Pyongyang.
Last month, Abe had paid a visit to the US where he held talks with Trump on North Korea’s denuclearisation process. The US President is scheduled to visit Japan later this month.

Japan has backed the US’ stand on maintaining sanctions on North Korea, in a bid to pressurise the secretive communist nation to dismantle its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programme.

It may be recalled that Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had met for the second time at their summit in Hanoi in February.

However, the two countries failed to resolve their differences on sanction waivers that led to the meeting ending abruptly, without a joint agreement which was expected to chart the future course of Pyongyang’s denuclearisation process.

Negotiations between the US and North Korea have hit a roadblock over the ease of sanctions, where Pyongyang sought relief as a recognition of the steps taken towards denuclearisation.

Washington has, until now, reinforced that relief in sanctions would only be given after Pyongyang carries out “complete and verifiable” denuclearisation.

In the wake of the projectile launch by North Korea, Trump had reaffirmed confidence in Kim, stating that the North Korean leader would not “break his promise.”

“Anything in this very interesting world is possible, but I believe that Kim Jong-un fully realises the great economic potential of North Korea, and will do nothing to interfere or end it. He also knows that I am with him and does not want to break his promise to me. Deal will happen!” Trump had tweeted on May 4.


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