US president downplays N Korea’s missile launches

Trade talks with Japan making progress: Trump

TOKYO: US President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Sunday to express his “confidence” in North Korean leader Kim Jong Un despite Pyongyang’s recent weapons tests and deadlocked nuclear talks.
Trump, currently in Japan on a trip aimed at improving ties with Washington’s close Asian ally, also suggested that Kim was sending him a “signal” through a North Korean state media commentary on Joe Biden — in which the former vice president was labelled an “imbecile” and a “fool of low IQ” for criticising Kim.
“North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me,” Trump wrote on Twitter, apparently referring to weapons tests in early May.
Hours before Trump landed on Saturday, his hawkish National Security Advisor John Bolton told local media there was “no doubt” Pyongyang’s recent missile tests had violated UN Security Council resolutions but insisted Washington is still ready to resume talks.
But Trump tweeted: “I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me, & also smiled when he called Swampman Joe Bidan [sic] a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?”
North Korea is one of the top issues on the agenda as Trump meets with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. US President Donald Trump said on Sunday that US, Japan were progressing very well in their trade talks. Trump, however noted that many issues would not be resolved until Japan holds elections to its upper chamber in July.
“Great progress being made in our Trade Negotiations with Japan. Agriculture and beef heavily in play. Much will wait until after their July elections (to the Japanese upper house) where I anticipate big numbers!” Trump tweeted on Sunday. Trump and his wife, Melania, are currently paying a four-day state visit to Japan.
The trade talks with Japan were triggered by the United States’ withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement in 2017. Without the deal, US farmers will not benefit from the same tariff exemptions as those countries that supported the agreement and signed a new trade deal.
Trump now wants to secure a bilateral trade agreement with Tokyo that would allow the United States to boost its agricultural exports to Japan. In return, Japan wants to prevent Trump from slamming import duties on Japanese cars and auto parts, which are one of the most important export products for Tokyo. (Agencies)

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