See More on Facebook

Analysis, Diplomacy

Abe, Trump summit sees stronger N Korea stance

US president Donald Trump has emerged from a two-day bilateral with Shinzo Abe with a stronger line on North Korea.


Written by

Updated: April 20, 2018

Abe’s government declared before the visit that he would push Donald Trump on the North Korea issue after both the US President and his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in had made diplomatic progress with Pyongyang in recent months – and threatened to leave Tokyo out of the loop.

Trump’s acceptance of summit talks with North Korea revealed a miscalculation by the Japanese government, which believed the current situation was at a stage for further pressuring North Korea.

According to the Yomiuri Shimbun, Abe himself told those around him that the U.S.-North Korea talks would be held “earlier than I thought.”

North Korean test missiles regularly fly over the Japanese homeland before crashing into the Pacific Ocean. Tokyo is within range of nuclear armed North Korean missiles and both North and South Korea harbor historic animosity against their former colonial master.

Therefore it was imperative that Japan, the United State’s 4th largest trading partner, push the issue with its longtime ally.

A stronger line

Upon his arrival Tuesday afternoon at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s private estate, Abe held a one-on-one dialogue with Trump accompanied only by interpreters.

“I want to share an understanding on the abandonment of nuclear weapons and missiles by North Korea through complete, verifiable and irreversible means,” Abe stressed at the beginning of the talks

What emerged from the two day bilateral is a stronger line of rhetoric from the President Trump.

Both men confirmed that the two countries would maintain maximum pressure on North Korea, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun.

Trump also pledged to raise the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea at a summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un slated to be held by early June.

In his talk with the media Trump also revealed that the summit might not happen at all.

“If I think that it’s a meeting that is not going to be fruitful, we’re not going to go,” he said. “If the meeting when I’m there is not fruitful, I will respectfully leave the meeting.”

Seoul pushes ahead

While the US and Japan evaluate their positions, Moon Jae-in’s administration in Seoul has gone ahead in their diplomatic courting of Pyongyang.

A summit between Moon and Kim Jong-un is due to take place in the coming weeks with sources in South Korea revealing that a peace treaty between the two countries (who have technically been at war since the 1950s) may be in the works.

Boosted by the prospects for the April 27 inter-Korean summit and the subsequent US-North Korea summit, the two Koreas are seeking to use the meetings as an opportunity to declare an end to the Korean War and replace the armistice agreement with a peace treaty.

“It is one of the ways under consideration to change the security climate on the Korean Peninsula into a more peaceful one,” a senior Cheong Wa Dae official told reporters under the condition of anonymity.

The Moon Jae-in administration is considering putting such ideas into the joint statement to be issued following the summit with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un, who expressed willingness to abandon its nuclear arsenal in return for security guarantees for the regime.

The Moon administration also added that North Korea is committed to “complete denuclearisation” and will not make unacceptable demands such as the withdrawal of United States troops stationed in South Korea – seemingly in response to the Abe-Trump bilateral outcomes.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Cod Satrusayang
About the Author: Cod Satrusayang is the Managing Editor at Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Analysis, Diplomacy

‘History will take note of those who ridiculed removal of Article 370’: PM Modi in Maharashtra

PM Modi also expressed confidence that the BJP will break all victory records in the October 21 Maharashtra Assembly elections. Prime Minister on Thursday once again lashed out at the opposition saying that history will take note of those who mocked the abrogation of Article 370, that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir. “Whenever Article 370 will be discussed in history, — the decision that was taken in the interest of the country — the people who opposed and ridiculed will be remembered,” PM Modi said while addressing a poll rally in Maharashtra’s Parli. He said the next week’s state Assembly elections were a battle between BJP’s “karyashakti” (power of development) and opposition’s “swarth shakti” (selfishness). Further targeting the Congress and NCP leaders, he wondered if “frustrated and dejected” people could do anything good for people. “A Congress


By The Statesman
October 18, 2019

Analysis, Diplomacy

Malaysia’s PM Mahathir says rail line RTS linking Johor Baru to Singapore to proceed

The rail line has been on again and off again. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Thursday (Oct 17) said Malaysia will proceed with the 4km Johor Baru to Singapore rail line. His comments about the Rapid Transit System (RTS) rail link followed that of Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke on Tuesday that details of the project will be decided by the Malaysian Cabinet within two weeks. Tun Dr Mahathir said when asked by reporters on Thursday: “We will proceed with the RTS but we will take some time.” Asked if this meant the Malaysian government had resolved 


By The Straits Times
October 18, 2019

Analysis, Diplomacy

S. Korean, ASEAN officials look ahead to special summit and stronger regional ties

Korea has increasingly look to Southeast Asia as an export destination and regional partners. Ahead of the highly anticipated summit in Busan next month between the leaders of South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, top officials from participating countries gathered in the southern port city Wednesday and voiced high expectations for the future of the relationship between South Korea and the ASEAN nations. South Korean Ambassador to ASEAN Lim Sung-nam, ASEAN-Korea Center Secretary-General Lee Hyuk, Busan Mayor Oh Keo-don and Myanmar Ambassador to South Korea U Thant Sin said they looked forward to the upcoming summit, calling it a steppingstone to stronger South Korea-ASEAN ties and to economic prosperity and peace on the Korean Peninsula. “In the past 30 years, the relationship between South Korea and ASEAN has grown to an astonishing degree. Trade volume rose 20-fold and human e


By The Korea Herald
October 18, 2019

Analysis, Diplomacy

We will never abandon people of occupied Kashmir, says Army chief during LoC visit

The army chief said that the Pakistan army will fulfil its role no matter the cost. Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa while visiting troops stationed along the Line of Control (LoC) on Wednesday vowed “to never leave Kashmiris alone” in their fight against Indian oppression. “Kashmiris in IOJ&K are bravely facing Indian atrocities under continued siege. We shall never leave them alone and play our rightful role at whatever cost”, said Gen Bajwa. Gen Bajwa’s remarks followed a briefing of the “deliberate targeting of civilians” by Indian troops and the response by Pakistan’s armed forces. A day earlier, at least three civilians died and eight others were injured in Azad Jammu and Kashmir after Indian troops resorted to “indiscri


By Dawn
October 17, 2019

Analysis, Diplomacy

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam unveils measures to ease housing crunch

Lam was forced to deliver speech via video after protests. Embattled Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announced measures aimed at easing a housing shortage on Wednesday (Oct 16) as she battles to restore confidence in her administration and address widespread discontent after four months of mostly violent anti-government protests. Mrs Lam was forced to deliver her speech via video after her annual policy address in the Legislative Council was aborted when some lawmakers repeatedly jeered and shouted at her as she began speaking. After aborting her speech in the chamber tw


By The Straits Times
October 17, 2019

Analysis, Diplomacy

Singapore’s 4G leadership lays out plans to take relationship with China ‘to a higher level’

The two countries share a close relationship. Singapore’s fourth-generation leadership has a comprehensive plan for engaging with China economically and plugging into the East Asian giant’s rapid development. Ten members of the “4G” cohort drove home this point as they spoke with Singapore media at the end of a bilateral meeting in Chongqing on Tuesday (Oct 15) that was of particular significance, as the Singapore team was composed fully of this new generation of political leaders. Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat led the Singapore delegation as he co-chaired the 15th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation, the highest-level bilateral platform between Singapore and China. Mr Heng, who took over the reins from former DPM Teo Chee Hean earlier this year, said his first meeting in the new role was forward-looking and productive, and that he took the opportunity to “


By The Straits Times
October 16, 2019