May 7, 2019
Abe has said he will meet the North Korean leader without any pre-conditions.
US President Donald Trump said Monday that he had a “very good conversation” with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about North Korea and trade.
The phone call happened days after North Korea fired multiple short-range projectiles into the East Sea in apparent frustration over stalled nuclear negotiations with the United States.
“Just spoke to Prime Minister Abe of Japan concerning North Korea and Trade. Very good conversation!” Trump tweeted.
Hours later, the White House released a statement saying the two men discussed “recent developments on North Korea and reaffirmed US-Japan unity in how to achieve the final, fully verified denuclearization” of the North.
Japan has been a strong advocate of maintaining US-led sanctions on the North as a way to pressure the regime to give up its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
North Korea has demanded that the US lift some of the sanctions in exchange for incremental steps toward denuclearization.
The White House said the two leaders also discussed trade issues and Trump’s trip to Japan later this month. The US president will be the first foreign leader to visit the country following the enthronement of Japanese Emperor Naruhito last week.
Trump and Abe also held talks in Washington last month as the US and Japan look to sign a trade deal.