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President Trump, PM Abe confirm importance of China’s role

NHK reported online that PM Abe held a telephone conference with President Trump from 6:35 am to about 6:55 am today at the Kantei following a ballistic missile launch by North Korea. According to NHK, the two leaders agreed on the importance of China playing a further role, and confirmed to further strengthen pressure on the North, including enhancing the capability to respond to the threat it poses. The network said the premier reportedly told the President: “North Korea fired a ballistic missile, making it clear its persistence in continuing its nuclear and missile development. Although the missile did not fly over Japan, it reached the highest altitude, more than 4,000 km, and flew for about 50 minutes. I believe that it had the range of an ICBM.” The premier also reportedly said that the missile launch is unacceptable and expressed hope that the U.S. and Japan, as well as the U.S., Japan, and South Korea unite and respond. He also reportedly gave high marks to the U.S.’s relisting North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. According to NHK, President Trump expressed strong concern over the missile launch and stressed the need to further strengthen pressure.  The network said this was the 17th telephone conference between the two leaders.

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