tells Abe all options on table to handle N. Korea
U.S. President Donald Trump told Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo
Abe in telephone talks Thursday that the United States considers all
options are on the table in dealing with North Korea, according to
the Japanese leader.
Trump "made clear that the United States will continue to
strengthen its ability to deter and defend itself and its allies with
the full range of its military capabilities," the White House later
said in a statement.
Ahead of Trump's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in
Florida, he and Abe agreed that China has an important role to play
in dissuading North Korea from pursuing nuclear weapons and missile
programs in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions, a senior
Japanese official said after the talks.
"(We) agreed that yesterday's missile launch by North Korea was
a dangerous provocative act and a grave threat to (Japan's)
security," Abe told reporters after the phone call, referring to
latest test-firing of a ballistic missile Wednesday.
Abe also told Trump that Japan is paying attention to how China
handles the issue of North Korea.
"(Japan) will continue to coordinate with the United States and
the rest of the international community in strengthening our response
to North Korea," Abe said.
Trump told Abe the United States "stands with its allies Japan
and South Korea in the face of the serious threat that North Korea
continues to pose," the White House said.
According to Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi
Hagiuda, Abe told Trump he "strongly appreciates" the U.S. position
that all options are on the table, but did not specifically mention
the option of military action that U.S. Secretary of State Rex
Tillerson has entertained.
Trump shared with Abe some of his thoughts relating to the
impending U.S.-China summit, Hagiuda told reporters.
Trump is expected to urge China during his meeting with Xi to be
more active in using its political and economic leverage to curb
North Korea's missile and nuclear ambitions.
Abe and Trump agreed that China's recent suspension of coal
imports from North Korea was not a sufficient move on its own,
North Korea conducted two nuclear explosions and test-fired more
than 20 ballistic missiles last year alone. It has continued its
missile activities this year.
The country has also shown signs of preparing for a test of an
intercontinental ballistic missile, which could potentially deliver a
nuclear warhead to the U.S. mainland, and a sixth nuclear test.
The roughly 35-minute phone call between Abe and Trump was set
up by Japan for the leaders to exchange views on North Korea and
other regional issues, Hagiuda said. (April 6)