Japan, South Korea, U.S. Agree to Take Lead at G20 Summit on North Korea

AP Photo
Markus Scholz/dpa via AP

In telephone calls ahead of the G20 summit, President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to partner with South Korean president Moon Jae-in and take the lead in the effort to tackle the threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles build-up.

“In their telephone talks, Abe and Trump affirmed they will hold a trilateral meeting with Moon on the sidelines of the G-20 summit starting Friday in Germany, to discuss how the three countries should cooperate to tackle the threat from the North,” Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda said, according to the Japanese Kyodo News Plus.

According to Hagiuda, Trump’s Japanese counterpart praised the U.S. for imposing fresh sanctions last week on a Chinese bank and individuals accused of laundering money for North Korea, the news outlet reported.

Moon supports dialogue with officials in North Korea, which continues to develop nuclear arms and ballistic missiles in violation of international law and sanctions, while Abe is calling for increased pressure on the North rather than direct dialogue.

When Trump and Moon met in Washington last week, they agreed to work with Japan and apply “maximum pressure” on North Korea, with dialogue “under the right circumstances.”

“Fears over nuclear-armed North Korea rose sharply after it successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), casting another shadow over the gathering which will bring the leaders of China, Japan, and South Korea to the northern city of Hamburg,” the Associated Press reported on Monday.

The AP injected commentary into its reporting on what will unfold at the G20 summit, chiding Trump on his Paris climate change agreement decision and highlighting the expected presence of anarchists, who regularly protest at this kind of international summit.

“Some 20,000 police will guard the leaders of the Group of 20 big industrialized and emerging economies as well as the UN, IMF, World Bank and other bodies, against anti-capitalist protesters who are greeting them with the combative slogan ‘G20—Welcome to Hell,’” AP reported.

“All eyes will be on Trump, who stunned the world by pulling out of the 2015 Paris climate pact, questioned long-standing NATO allegiances and dismissed free-trade principles in favor of an ‘America First’ stance,” AP reported.

In fact, Trump articulated why he withdrew from the Paris accord, including its negative affect on U.S. jobs and the economy. Trump also has pledged U.S. support for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), but successfully convinced many member nations to meet their treaty obligation of spending at least 2 percent of GDP on defense.

Trump has also departed ways from the trade policies advanced by former President Barack Obama in favor of deals that provide more benefits to U.S. companies and workers.


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