Trump talks Syria strikes, N. Korea, trade with Japan

WASHINGTON, US President Donald Trump sent late Wednesday a message to “all of the brave service members” from the US, UK and France who were involved in the “very successful” strikes on targets associated with the Syrian chemical weapons program last week, saying “the unmatched skill of the United States military, and our great partners and allies, was demonstrated to the entire world.” Trump said during a joint press conference with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago in Florida, “missiles were shot. They tried to knock them down; they weren’t in the least successful. They hit none.” He affirmed “the purpose of our strike was to establish a strong deterrent against the use of banned chemical weapons. Civilized nations must join together to prevent the horrors of chemical warfare and, in fact, warfare.

“I think our allies really were absolutely world-class, wonderful. We thank them for their support,” he remarked.

On North Korea, Trump affirmed that he will be meeting North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un “in the coming weeks to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” saying “hopefully, that meeting will be a great success. And we’re looking forward to it.” He noted that it would be “a tremendous thing for North Korea and a tremendous thing for the world. So we will be doing everything possible to make it a worldwide success, not just for the United States or South Korea or North Korea or Japan, but for the entire world.

“We hope to see the day when the whole Korean Peninsula can live together in safety, prosperity, and peace. This is the destiny of the Korean people who deserve and have gone through so much over the years. We hope it all works out, and we’ll be trying very hard,” he remarked.

He affirmed that the campaign of maximum pressure “will continue until North Korea denuclearizes.” “If the meeting (with North Korea’s leader), when I’m there is not fruitful, I will respectfully leave the meeting and will continue what we are doing or whatever it is that we’ll continue, but something will happen,” he remarked.

On the trade, Trump said “we’re also working to improve our economic partnership (with Japan) by reducing our trade imbalance and removing barriers to US exports.” He reiterated that the US “is committed to free, fair, and reciprocal — very important word — trade. And we’re committed to pursuing a bilateral trading relationship that benefits both of our great countries.” For his part, Abe said that both the US and Japan, “together with the international community, we will demand that for all weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles complete a verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles to North Korea.” Meanwhile, he affirmed that the US and Japan will “further expand trade and investment between the two countries,” where “building upon that foundation, we’ll aim to realize economic development in the free and open Indo-Pacific region based on fair rules.

“To make that happen, at this time, President Trump and I agreed to start talks for free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals,” he affirmed.

Furthermore, the White House said that Trump “affirmed that he will urge North Korea to promptly resolve its abductions of Japanese citizens, recalling the strong impression he received when he met the families of the abductees during his visit to Japan last November”.

Source: Kuwait News Agency