PresidentPresident Donald TrumpTrump MondayMonday hailedhailed aa "great"great respect"respect" betweenbetween thethe USUS andand nuclear-armed NorthNorth Korea, asas hehe alsoalso heldheld outout thethe possibilitypossibility ofof talkstalks withwith Iran, stressingstressing hehe diddid notnot wantwant "terrible"terrible things"things" toto happen.happen.
AheadAhead ofof summitsummit talkstalks withwith JapaneseJapanese PrimePrime MinisterMinister Shinzo Abe, TrumpTrump playedplayed downdown recentrecent belligerence fromfrom Pyongyang, whichwhich lastlast monthmonth firedfired short-rangeshort-range missilesmissiles thatthat raisedraised tensionstensions inin thethe region.region.
"I"I personallypersonally thinkthink thatthat lotslots ofof goodgood thingsthings willwill comecome withwith NorthNorth Korea, II feelfeel that.that. II maymay bebe right,right, II maymay bebe wrong,wrong, butbut II feelfeel that,"that," TrumpTrump toldtold reportersreporters atat Abe'sAbe's office.office.
"There's"There's aa goodgood respectrespect built,built, maybemaybe aa greatgreat respectrespect builtbuilt between...between... thethe UnitedUnited StatesStates andand NorthNorth Korea, butbut wewe willwill seesee whatwhat happens,"happens," addedadded thethe president,president, whosewhose failedfailed talkstalks withwith thethe North'sNorth's leaderleader Kim Jong UnUn inin Hanoi sparkedsparked aa freshfresh spikespike inin tensions.tensions.
HeHe notednoted thatthat whenwhen hehe camecame toto office,office, therethere waswas "testing"testing allall thethe time,time, nuclearnuclear testingtesting atat thethe highesthighest level,level, andand thatthat seemsseems toto havehave stopped".stopped".
OnOn Sunday,Sunday, TrumpTrump dismisseddismissed thethe recentrecent missilemissile teststests fromfrom thethe NorthNorth asas "some"some smallsmall weapons"weapons" andand appearedappeared toto undercutundercut hishis NationalNational SecuritySecurity AdvisorAdvisor John Bolton, whowho hadhad saidsaid thethe dayday beforebefore thatthat thethe launcheslaunches contravenedcontravened UNUN SecuritySecurity CouncilCouncil resolutions.resolutions.
TrumpTrump saidsaid thethe recentrecent teststests hadhad "disturbed"disturbed somesome ofof mymy people,people, andand others,others, butbut notnot me,"me," whichwhich waswas widely seenseen asas aa referencereference toto hishis hawkishhawkish advisor.advisor.
- 'Terrible'Terrible things'things' -
TrumpTrump alsoalso struckstruck aa relativelyrelatively dovishdovish tonetone onon Iran, amidamid mountingmounting tensionstensions withwith thethe historichistoric AmericanAmerican foe.foe.
"I"I dodo believebelieve thatthat Iran wouldwould likelike toto talk,talk, andand ifif they'd likelike toto talk,talk, we'dwe'd likelike toto talktalk also,"also," TrumpTrump said.said.
"We'll"We'll seesee whatwhat happens,happens, butbut II knowknow forfor aa factfact thatthat thethe primeprime ministerminister (Abe) isis veryvery closeclose withwith thethe leadershipleadership ofof Iran... nobodynobody wantswants toto seesee terribleterrible thingsthings happen,happen, especiallyespecially me."me."
Abe isis reportedlyreportedly weighingweighing aa triptrip toto Tehran inin aa bidbid toto mediatemediate inin thethe MiddleMiddle EastEast crisiscrisis andand TrumpTrump appearedappeared toto givegive thethe greengreen light,light, sayingsaying "we'll"we'll seesee whatwhat happens,happens, thatthat wouldwould bebe fine".fine".
TrumpTrump isis inin Japan asas thethe firstfirst foreignforeign leaderleader toto visitvisit thethe country'scountry's newlynewly enthronedenthroned EmperorEmperor Naruhito -- anan honourhonour Abe hopeshopes willwill helphelp charmcharm thethe USUS presidentpresident whenwhen itit comescomes toto thornythorny tradetrade talks.talks.
AndAnd whilewhile thethe USUS presidentpresident againagain lashedlashed outout atat whatwhat hehe calledcalled aa "tremendous"tremendous imbalance"imbalance" inin thethe tradetrade relationshiprelationship betweenbetween thethe world'sworld's toptop andand number-three economies,economies, hehe said: "I'm"I'm suresure thatthat willwill workwork outout overover aa periodperiod ofof time."time."
"I"I thinkthink wewe willwill bebe announcingannouncing somesome things,things, probablyprobably inin August,August, thatthat willwill bebe veryvery goodgood forfor bothboth countries."countries."
OnOn Sunday,Sunday, TrumpTrump hadhad alreadyalready takentaken aa softersofter note,note, sayingsaying thatthat "much""much" ofof thatthat dealdeal wouldwould waitwait untiluntil Abe facesfaces upperupper househouse electionselections likelylikely inin JulyJuly -- asas rumoursrumours swirlswirl thatthat thethe popularpopular primeprime ministerminister willwill combinecombine thatthat votevote withwith aa snapsnap generalgeneral election.election.
WithWith hishis tradetrade warwar againstagainst ChinaChina gettinggetting boggedbogged down,down, TrumpTrump won'twon't wantwant anotheranother disputedispute toto rockrock thethe boatboat forfor hishis closestclosest AsianAsian ally.ally.
TopTop JapaneseJapanese andand AmericanAmerican tradetrade negotiatorsnegotiators spentspent moremore thanthan twotwo hourshours lockedlocked inin talkstalks onon SaturdaySaturday nightnight butbut failedfailed toto achieveachieve aa breakthrough,breakthrough, althoughalthough thethe JapaneseJapanese sideside saidsaid therethere waswas moremore "understanding""understanding" betweenbetween thethe two.two.
- 'Great'Great honour'honour' -
MondayMonday markedmarked thethe startstart ofof thethe officialofficial programmeprogramme forfor thethe twotwo leadersleaders afterafter aa fun-filled weekendweekend ofof sumo,sumo, golfgolf andand mealsmeals out.out. TrumpTrump saidsaid onon SundaySunday hehe waswas havinghaving aa "great"great time"time" withwith hishis friendfriend andand closeclose allyally Abe.
TrumpTrump saidsaid itit waswas aa "great"great honour"honour" toto bebe thethe firstfirst toto meetmeet Naruhito, whowho tooktook thethe ChrysanthemumChrysanthemum ThroneThrone onlyonly threethree weeksweeks ago,ago, afterafter hishis fatherfather steppedstepped downdown inin thethe firstfirst abdication inin twotwo centuries.centuries.
InIn thethe morning,morning, Trump,Trump, dresseddressed inin aa darkdark suitsuit andand redred tie,tie, reviewedreviewed thethe JapaneseJapanese honourhonour guardguard andand greetedgreeted dozensdozens ofof JapaneseJapanese andand visitingvisiting USUS officialsofficials asas aa militarymilitary bandband played.played.
Naruhito, wearingwearing aa lightlight blueblue tie,tie, andand hishis wifewife EmpressEmpress Masako, whowho waswas inin aa whitewhite hathat andand jacket,jacket, accompaniedaccompanied TrumpTrump andand hishis wifewife Melania, whowho worewore aa summerysummery whitewhite dressdress andand talltall redred highhigh heels.heels.
WalkingWalking togethertogether throughthrough thethe palace,palace, notablenotable forfor itsits elegant,elegant, restrainedrestrained decor,decor, thethe twotwo couplescouples thenthen satsat downdown forfor aa furtherfurther chatchat wherewhere officialofficial translatorstranslators foundfound themselvesthemselves withwith littlelittle toto dodo -- Naruhito havinghaving gonegone toto Oxford andand Masako graduatinggraduating fromfrom Harvard.
InIn thethe evening,evening, TrumpTrump andand Melania willwill bebe backback atat thethe palacepalace forfor aa banquet.banquet.
ThatThat willwill markmark thethe lavishlavish highhigh pointpoint inin aa Japan visitvisit ladenladen withwith feel-goodfeel-good momentsmoments aimedaimed atat celebratingcelebrating US-Japanese tiesties atat aa timetime ofof growinggrowing regionalregional uncertaintyuncertainty duedue toto USUS tradetrade policies,policies, aa risingrising ChinaChina andand nuclear-armed NorthNorth Korea.