Published: Tue, April 17, 2018

Abe heads to U.S. for talks with Trump

Abe heads to U.S. for talks with Trump

He vowed to do his best in talks with Trump to ensure that the meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will make progress toward resolution of the issue.

"Not allowing North Korea to threaten the USA just means that we remain committed to achieving the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula", a White House official said.

Tokyo has much to lose from an agreement that focuses on Pyongyang's ability to strike the U.S. mainland with intercontinental ballistic missiles and ignores the more immediate threat its short- and medium-range missiles pose to Japanese territory.

"The world is moving toward dialogue with North Korea", the source said. If Abe's forced to step down, fears that Japan is being passed over by the US would only grow.

Abe is due to arrive at Trump's Mar-a-Lago retreat in Palm Beach, Florida, for two days of talks dominated by North Korea but also expected to cover trade, relations with China and other issues.

They are expected to play golf as they did during Trump's visit to Japan in November past year.

Chinese President Xi Jinping's Belt and Road Initiative, unveiled in 2013, aims at building a modern-day Silk Road connecting China by land and sea to Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

Koizumi, who was Prime Minister from 2001-06, told Aera magazine published on Monday that Abe has found himself in a "dangerous" situation over the scandals.

There is alarm in Tokyo that the cold war abductions of Japanese citizens by North Korean spies could be forgotten in the push for a nuclear settlement. China's efforts, the person said, were focused on getting Japan on board with engaging North Korea diplomatically.

Mr. Abe will also try to convince Mr. Trump to follow through on his recent order to explore rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact.

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