President Trump, Prime Minister Abe in lockstep on ‘menace of North Korea’
Saul Loeb/Getty Images(HAMBURG, Germany) — Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe praised Donald Trump on Saturday after a meeting the president organized with Asian allies at the G-20 Summit, while also noting the severity of the threat North Korea poses on the global stage.
Through a translator, Abe thanked Trump for organizing the trilateral meeting with South Korea, Japan and the United States at the summit in Hamburg, Germany.
Abe said the threat from Pyongyang has become “increasingly severe.” He stressed that he wants Japan to work with the United States to “demonstrate the robust partnership” that the two countries have.
Trump discussed his conversation with Abe with reporters after the meeting.
“The prime minister is, I will say this, very, very focused on what is going on with respect to North Korea,” Trump said.
North Korea has been a major topic of discussion at the G-20 Summit, particularly after the country launched an intercontinental ballistic missile test earlier this week. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said the test was a gift for the U.S. in honor of the Fourth of July.
The White House on Saturday afternoon released a readout of the meeting, saying both leaders agreed that “the international community must address North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs quickly and decisively.”
“President Trump reaffirmed the ironclad commitment of the United States to the defense of Japan, as well as to the Republic of Korea, from any attack, and reiterated that the United States is prepared to use the full range of capabilities in such defense,” the statement reads.
Just five days ago, the two leaders “reaffirmed that the United States-Japan alliance stands ready to defend and respond to any threat or action taken by North Korea,” according to a statement from the White House.
In January, the incoming Trump administration publicly foreshadowed a tough new relationship with Japan — from trade to mutual defense contributions — but this has fallen by the wayside, partly due to the strong relationship Abe has formed with the president. Abe was the first world leader to visit with Trump when he was president-elect, at Trump Tower in November.
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