Abe talk trade, N. Korea in Palm Beach

Abe talk trade, N. Korea in Palm Beach

President Donald Trump struck a hopeful note about US trade with Japan on Wednesday at a lunch with the Asian nation's prime minister, Shinzo Abe, saying he thought the United States would soon be able to trim its trade deficit with the country.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Trump said five locations were being considered for the historic summit but didn't elaborate on what they might be. Abe is now seeking a summit with Kim for himself, rather than be further left out of North Asia's rapidly changing political situation.

With Abe standing next to him, Trump claimed he plans to meet with Kim but raised the possibility the summit might be called off because of a lack of agreement over an agenda.

The talks came amid news that CIA Director Mike Pompeo had recently traveled in secret to North Korea to meet with Kim ahead of a U.S.

It will also be the first time a North Korean leader has set foot in South Korea since the armistice between the two countries in 1953, Moon's Chief of Staff Im Jong-seok said Tuesady.

Pushing for more concessions from Japan in a bilateral deal with the United States could put Mr. Abe in an even more politically sensitive position. South Korea was a member of the U.N. Command but was not a direct signatory.

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"I want to share an understanding on the abandonment of nuclear weapons and missiles by North Korea through complete, verifiable and irreversible means", Abe stressed at the beginning of the talks, adding, "I want to actively discuss the abduction issue, which is important to Japan".

North Korea has long sought a peace treaty with the U.S.to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War.

Trump took credit for the inter-Korean talks, saying, "Without us and without me, in particular, I guess you would have to say, they wouldn't be discussing anything".

Still, the costs of importing petroleum products and liquefied natural gas increased because of higher prices globally, the ministry said.

Abe also said he had secured a commitment from Trump to raise with Kim the issue of Japanese abductees, one of his top policy priorities. "But this won't change the fact that Tokyo's strategic interests lie in being part of the negotiations in dealing with North Korea's denuclearisation and dealing with shorter-range capabilities as much as long-range missiles". -North Korea summit talks will unfold as the Japanese government hopes.

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