Abe, Trump agree on close coordination over N. Korea issues

The missile attack came as Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping at his private estate in Florida, where Trump reportedly planned to urge the leader to take a tougher stance on North Korea.

Trump is hailing the rapport he developed with Xi during last week's Florida summit, which seems to have yielded an immediate easing of tensions. In fact, even Trump himself implicitly acknowledged this fact when he tweeted, after his guest was safely back in Beijing, that despite the goodwill and friendship between him and Xi, "only time will tell on trade".

Although China is not implicated in the Syrian war, Trump's actions resonate widely, not least in the debate over how to tackle North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs. He's right that President Barack Obama issued what amounted to an empty threat of military action. "For the peace and stability of the world, we will also fulfil our historical responsibility".

"I think truly progress has been made", Trump said, declaring his relationship with Xi as "outstanding".

During the two-day summit, which focused on bilateral trade issues and military cooperation, Trump commented on the " tremendous progress " the US had made with China. But they lean more toward sanctions and increased pressure on Beijing to rein in its neighbor.

Though the two leaders did not say they talked about the problem of Taiwan, which is the core interest of the People's Republic of China, they certainly agreed to deal with it in their next meeting. "If they do, that will be very good for China, and if they don't, it won't be good for anyone".

Skeptics noted that a confrontation with Russian Federation over Syria was well-timed for a president whose campaign is under investigation by the FBI and congressional committees for possible co-ordination with Moscow during the 2016 election.


Trump "reaffirmed the strength of the United States-Republic of Korea alliance and agreed to stay in close touch regarding North Korea and other issues of mutual concern", according to a statement released by the White House.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, without directly naming North Korea, told ABC News, "If you violate global agreements, if you fail to live up to commitments, if you become a threat to others, at some point a response is likely to be undertaken".

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, speaking about Pyongyang's provocatively timed missile test that coincided with the Mar-a-Lago bilateral talks between Trump and Xi, indicated that the United States would "chart its own course", with the understanding that China may be hard-pressed to control its impoverished ally.

During the conversation, Trump briefed Abe on his just-concluded meeting with Xi. He said a U.S. declaration of Chinese manipulation could jeopardize talks with China on North Korea.

On the whole, the US and China both sounded an optimistic tone - Trump even accepted Xi's invitation to visit China later this year.

Mark Feierstein, who served in the National Security Council under President Barack Obama, said it's hard to glean a direction for US policy from Trump's actions in Syria because Trump "is not moored to any coherent ideology or set of ideas".

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