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Japanese, U.S. leaders confirm cooperation in dealing with North Korea

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a teleconference with U.S. President Donald Trump for about 40 minutes on the evening of May 6 following North Korea’s launch of projectiles. The two leaders shared the latest results of the analysis of the projectiles. They also confirmed a policy of continuing to closely cooperate toward the denuclearization of the North. The prime minister also conveyed his intention to hold a summit with North Korea without conditions.

 

The prime minister told reporters after the teleconference, “I think I have to meet with Workers’ Party of Korea Chairman Kim Jong Un in person without any preconditions.” He underscored: “The abduction issue is an important issue for Japan in its relationship with North Korea. I’m determined to miss no opportunity to resolve the issue.”

 

Abe and Trump have held 30 teleconferences so far. This time the prime minister demonstrated to President Trump his “strong determination” to hold a summit with the North. During the latest teleconference, the two leaders shared the importance of seeking the North’s denuclearization through the cooperation of the international community including Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

 

Abe and Trump also exchanged views on new trade negotiations. They agreed to accelerate talks between Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer for the mutual benefit of the two countries.

 

Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun met with Liberal Democratic Party policy chief Fumio Kishida at the LDP headquarters on May 7. The official of the U.S. Department of State described the launch of the projectiles as a “reflection of impatience on the part of North Korea.”

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