LIVE White House press briefing with Pres. Trump and Japan PM Abe
The stream has ended. Here are the key highlights of the meeting:
Pres. Trump introductory comments
- Had a productive and valuable discussion with PM Abe
- Working with Abe to improve trade relationship
- Working on bilateral trade agreement with Japan
- Our economy is absolutely booming
- The bonds between our nations are stronger than ever before
PM Abe introductory comments
- Express deep respect to Pres. Trump on meeting with N. Korea
- Our discussion was focused on issue of N. Korea
- Japan and the US are always together
- Hope the historic summit will be a resounding success
- Japan wants all the abductees released from N. Korea
- Wishes he could directly talk to N. Korea about abductees
- Thanks Pres. Trump for all help in the release of all abductees
- N. Korea can see a bright future
- Japan stands ready to make every effort to the success of the US/N. Korea summit.
Press conference highlights: Trump
- Don't think N. Korean meeting will be one meeting. There will be many
- Letter from N. Korea was just a greeting and a warm and nice letter
- We could sign an agreement to end the Korean War
- Ending the Korean War would just be the beginning.
- Normalizing relations is something he would like to do when everything is complete
- If hear me say "Maximum pressure" then the meeting with N.Korea did not go well.
- Will invite Kim to the US if the meeting goes well
- Will walk away if N. Korea summit does not go well
Press conference: Abe
- Discusses abductees in detail with Trump
- Trump understands the issue of abductees and will explain it to N.Korea's Kim
- Until N.Korea takes action, the sanctions will not be lifted. Japan is in full agreement.
- Hopeful on progress on missile and denuclearization
- Japan must talk directly with N. Korea on Japanese abductees in the final analysis
What is clear from the press conference is that Japan put the abduction issue as a key talking point. Abe harped on it. The questions from the Japanese press were focused on it. At the last visit, PM Abe also spoke of the abductees and got assurances from Trump. However, since then the three US abductees were released, but none of the 12 Japanese abductees were released (or talked about at the time). Clearly, it is a huge issue for the Japanese and maybe a negotiating point for future trade relations with the US.