Abe says Trump backs his pursuit of 1st summit with Kim Jong Un

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks during a press conference with U.S. President Donald Trump at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo, on May 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

TOKYO, May 27, 2019, Kyodo. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday he has won the support of U.S. President Donald Trump over his pursuit of a first-ever summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, while noting that no date has been set for the meeting, reported The Mainichi.

Speaking at a joint press conference after their summit in Tokyo, Abe also said Japan and the United States are “completely” on the same page in handling North Korea, although the two countries responded differently over Pyongyang’s firing of short-range missiles earlier in the month.

Trump said he did not view the missile launches as a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, adding, “All I know is there’ve been no nuclear tests, there’ve been no ballistic missiles going out, there’ve been no long-range missiles going out.”

He also said he is in “no rush” to strike a deal with North Korea over its denuclearization, with “tremendous sanctions” remaining on the country.

On the economic front, the two leaders agreed to accelerate bilateral trade negotiations, which began in April, to achieve a win-win relationship, according to Abe.

The United States is seeking greater access to the Japanese market for products such as beef, pork and wheat, as American farmers have become less competitive following the activation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free trade agreement including Australia and New Zealand.

Japan has meanwhile pushed for the removal of tariffs on industrial products including automobiles, one of its biggest exports, as had been agreed before the United States withdrew from the TPP.

Trump told the press conference that the TPP has “nothing to do” with the United States, noting that the agreement “would have destroyed our automobile industry and many of our manufacturers.”

“We are not involved in TPP so what other countries agreed to is not binding at all on the United States,” he said.

On the standoff over the Iran nuclear deal, Abe said Japan, which has maintained relatively amicable ties with Tehran, will work with the United States to diffuse tension. Trump said he is not looking for regime change in Iran.

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