Watch: President Trump, Japanese PM Abe hold joint news conference

Posted at 6:07 PM, Apr 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-18 19:39:15-04

President Donald Trump will take questions alongside his Japanese counterpart Wednesday evening after two days of intensive talks on North Korea and trade.

The summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Trump’s oceanfront Mar-a-Lago estate here came as the President prepares for historic talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a prospect that Abe has warned will come with risks.

The two men conferred about the matter Tuesday alongside top national security aides. Talks on Wednesday focused on trade, including the possibility of exempting Japan from new US tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

In between, Trump and Abe enjoyed a nearly five-hour round of golf at the nearby Trump International Golf Club.

Both men put forward displays of bonhomie during their extensive time together. Abe routinely referred to the President as “Donald,” while Trump expounded on the friendship he has developed with the Japanese leader. They strolled the Mar-a-Lago croquet lawn with their wives before dinner Tuesday.

But tensions were visible. During remarks ahead of Wednesday’s trade talks, Trump delivered a stern warning about unfair economic practices and vowed to stand up for American workers. And he paid little heed to Abe’s warnings about North Korea — instead indicating that preparations for talks are moving forward rapidly.

As the two men sat for dinner Tuesday, it was revealed that Mike Pompeo, Trump’s CIA director and pick for secretary of state, had traveled to North Korea for preliminary talks with Kim early this month. And Trump had said earlier in the evening that officials had identified five possible venues for the summit.

The President has stressed that he’ll focus on denuclearization in his talks with Kim. But Abe has worked to gain a commitment that missile testing will also be on the agenda. Intermediate range missiles test-launched by North Korea have landed in the waters off Japan.

“Japan and ourselves are locked, and we are very unified on the subject of North Korea,” Trump said Tuesday.