Published: Wed, April 04, 2018
Markets | By Josh Butler

Trump, Japanese PM Abe to talk North Korea at meeting this month

Trump, Japanese PM Abe to talk North Korea at meeting this month

President Donald Trump will welcome Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida later this month for a summit meeting, the White House announced Monday.

The Trump-Abe summit is set to take place on April 17-18 and will be the third such meeting between the two leaders. The Trump administration popularised the term Indo-Pacific instead of Asia-Pacific to corner China in its own backyard.

"I will request in person that President Trump raise the abduction issue, which is the most important question [for Japan], during an upcoming US-North Korean summit", Abe said, as quoted by Japan's Kyodo news agency. Trump had accepted the proposal to meet Kim from a South Korean diplomat in March, leaving quite a few stunned. In Trump's recent imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, Japan was not given any exemption even if it is one of Washington's top allies.

Abe is also expected to discuss stiff USA tariffs on steel and aluminum imports and urge Mr. Trump to exclude Japan, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters. The USA's other ally in the region - South Korea - was given an exemption from trade penalties.

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The last time Trump and Abe met at Mar-a-Lago early in the president's term past year, North Korea tested a ballistic missile during the summit.

Indian defense secretary Sanjay Mitra had visited the Pentagon last month, and India and the USA had also made a decision to participate in sea exercises off the Indian coast, including the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

"The two leaders will discuss the global campaign to maintain maximum pressure on North Korea" to give up its nuclear weapons programs, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

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