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Abe, Trump, Turnbull meet to talk N. Korea on ASEAN sidelines

MANILA, Philippines — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, U.S. President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull met for talks in Manila on Monday, with the trio expected to confirm the shared regional interests of their nations.


At the meeting on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit, the leaders are likely to reaffirm their united front in responding to the threat from North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile development.


Both Japan and Australia have defense alliances with the United States.


During Trump’s visit to Japan last week, he and Abe agreed to ramp up maximum pressure on North Korea to compel it to end its weapons programs.


On Sunday in Manila, diplomats from Japan, Australia, India and the United States discussed a “free and open” Indo-Pacific order and agreed to work together based on their shared values.


Abe has previously advocated for a “security diamond” formed by the four countries to safeguard the Indo-Pacific region, taking indirect aim at China’s rising influence.


Following the three-way meeting, Abe and Turnbull are scheduled to hold bilateral talks, with the recently agreed version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal likely high on their agenda.


Their meeting follows Saturday’s agreement between the 11 TPP signatories to bring the pact into force as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership after the United States withdrew from the original deal in January.


The accord will come into force 60 days after at least six of the signatories complete their domestic procedures.

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