Donald Trump’s 12-day Asia tour kicked off in Japan last night,
where discussions between Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo
Abe were punctuated by the deadly mass shooting that claimed 26 lives
in a small-town Texas church. But not before Trump could engage in
some customary saber-rattling aimed at his favorite verbal sparring
partner, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
meeting with Abe was the first time the two world leaders have met
face to face since late September, when they discussed strategies for
containing the North Korean nuclear threat on the sidelines of the UN
General Assembly, including
how to pressure China and Russia to increase economic pressure on
their restive neighbor, according to Reuters.
much has changed since then; though South Korean and US intelligence
have detected signs of movement around some of the North’s
missile-launch sites, the country has so far refrained from engaging
in any more missile or nuclear tests since it fired a medium-range
missile over Japan on Sept. 15.
that didn’t stop Trump from repeating his mantra the “era of
strategic patience” with North Korea was over, and said the two
countries were working to counter the “dangerous aggressions,”
during a press conference following a leadership summit between the
(Abe) will shoot them out of the sky when he completes the purchase
of lots of additional military equipment from the United
said, referring to the North Korean missiles. ”The
prime minister is going to be purchasing massive amounts of military
equipment, as he should. And we make the best military equipment by
for his part, said Tokyo would shoot down missiles “if
was replying to a question that was posed to Abe - namely how he
would respond to a quote from Trump from a recent interview in which
he said Japan was a “samurai” nation and should have shot down
the North Korean missiles.
policy is that it would only shoot down a missile if it were falling
on Japanese territory or if it were judged to pose an “existential
threat” to Japan because it was aimed at a US
target, Bloomberg reported.
once again defended his aggressive rhetoric, arguing that passivity
in the face of the burgeoning threat posed by North Korea led to
today’s diplomatic standoff.
importantly, we’re working to counter the dangerous aggressions of
the regime in North Korea,” Trump
said, calling Pyongyang’s nuclear tests and recent launches of
ballistic missiles over Japan “a threat to the civilized world and
to international peace and stability”.
people said that my rhetoric is very strong. But look what’s
happened with very weak rhetoric over the last 25 years. Look where
we are right now,” he said, adding
that "no dictator" should underestimate US resolve.
is on the first stop of a five-nation swing through Asia where he
plans to push his message of fair trade and freedom in the region
backed by a strong U.S. military presence. The U.S.’s $69 billion
trade deficit with Japan is its second-highest behind only China,
fueled largely by American imports of cars and electronics.
Korea’s recent actions have raised the stakes in the most critical
international challenge of Trump’s presidency.
US leader, who will visit South Korea on the trip, has repeatedly
promised to “totally destroy” North Korea if it threatens the US,
while dismissing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a “rocket man”
on a suicide mission during a speech before the UN General Assembly
with whom Trump has bonded through multiple summits and phone calls,
repeated at the same news conference that Japan backed Trump’s
stance that “all options” are on the table, saying it was time to
exert maximum pressure on North Korea and the two countries were “100
percent” together on the issue. Abe said Japan is buying Lockheed
Martin Corp.’s F-35A fighter jets and missile interceptors from
Raytheon Co. - deals that had previously been announced. He said
Japan would buy more Aegis equipment from the U.S. for its shpis.
also discussed improving Japan's defense capabilities as the country
moves further beyond constitutional restrictions on militarism
imposed after World War II.
the North Korean situation becoming more severe, and the Asia-Pacific
security environment becoming harsher, I think we need to improve
Japan’s defense capabilities in terms of quality and quantity,” Abe
the North Korean regime is reportedly monitoring Trump’s Asia tour
“very closely” and has said that, if he does anything crazy, the
North will “respond powerfully.” To wit, in what seems like a
deliberate attempt to aggravate the North during Trump’s visit
(perhaps in the hope of provoking another missile test that would
underscore Trump’s calls for regional cooperation on the issue)
three US aircraft carriers and several nuclear submarines are taking
part in joint military exercises with the Japanese and South Koreans
in the waters off the Korean peninsula.