The White House announced Tuesday that American President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet ahead of the “expected meeting” between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12.
“President Donald J. Trump spoke today with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan,” a readout of a call between the two leaders released on Monday, May 28, by the White House read. “The two leaders discussed recent developments in North Korea and confirmed they would meet again to continue close coordination in advance of the expected meeting between the United States and North Korea.”
“The President and Prime Minister affirmed the shared imperative of achieving the complete and permanent dismantlement of North Korea’s nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and ballistic missile programs,” the statement concluded.
Japan does not have formal diplomatic relations with North Korea. A formal diplomatic relationship was established between Japan and South Korea (officially the Republic of Korea) on June 22, 1965, with the signing of the Treaty on Basic Relations in Tokyo.
The Monday phone call came days after President Trump sent a letter to Kim announcing he was pulling out of the summit. Trump, but then said a day later that it could still happen. The White House’s latest characterization of the meeting as “expected” appears to be a further sign that it could go ahead.
On May 24, Trump tweeted that he was “sadly” forced to cancel the planned summit:
Sadly, I was forced to cancel the Summit Meeting in Singapore with Kim Jong Un. pic.twitter.com/rLwXxBxFKx
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 24, 2018
One day later, Trump tweeted his optimism that the summit will, in fact, take place after a “solid response” to his letter from North Korea:
We have put a great team together for our talks with North Korea. Meetings are currently taking place concerning Summit, and more. Kim Young Chol, the Vice Chairman of North Korea, heading now to New York. Solid response to my letter, thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2018
“I truly believe North Korea has brilliant potential and will be a great economic and financial Nation one day,” Trump wrote. “Kim Jong Un agrees with me on this. It will happen!”
Our United States team has arrived in North Korea to make arrangements for the Summit between Kim Jong Un and myself. I truly believe North Korea has brilliant potential and will be a great economic and financial Nation one day. Kim Jong Un agrees with me on this. It will happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2018
On Sunday, an American delegation reportedly met with North Koreans officials in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) to plan for the June 12 summit in Singapore.