U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed Monday to meet ahead of the president's planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the White House said.
Trump and Abe spoke by phone after the U.S. leader canceled his June 12 meeting with Kim, citing "open hostility" from the regime, and then put it back on track.
They "confirmed they would meet again to continue close coordination in advance of the expected meeting between the United States and North Korea," the White House said in a statement. "The President and Prime Minister affirmed the shared imperative of achieving the complete and permanent dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and ballistic missile programs."
If held, the Trump-Kim meeting in Singapore will focus on dismantling the North's nuclear weapons program. Tokyo has urged Washington to also address the issue of North Korea's short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, which pose a direct threat to Japan, and the unresolved abductions of Japanese citizens by Pyongyang decades ago.
U.S. officials have been in meetings with their North Korean counterparts on the inter-Korean border and in Singapore, raising expectations the summit will be held as planned.
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