North Korea worries linger as Trump leaves Japan

May 27, 2019, 5:22 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 5:06 pm

TOKYO, JAPAN - MAY 27: U.S. President Donald Trump, left, speaks as Shinzo Abe, Japan's prime minis...

TOKYO, JAPAN - MAY 27: U.S. President Donald Trump, left, speaks as Shinzo Abe, Japan's prime minister, listens during a news conference at Akasaka Palace on May 27, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Kiyoshi Ota - Pool/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kiyoshi Ota - Pool/Getty Images)

TOKYO (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s visit to Japan (all times local):

11 p.m.

President Donald Trump appears to have offered little to reassure Japanese leaders on some of their key worries as he wraps up a four-day state visit.

Trump is concluding his Japanese trip with rifts still evident between the two countries on trade and North Korea.

Japan had rolled out the red carpet for Trump, including a showy visit with Japan’s new emperor. But the visit has also seen Trump play down the significance of North Korean missile tests that have rattled Japan, and renew his threats of tariffs on Japanese auto imports.

The president and Melania Trump are due to take part in a Memorial Day ceremony aboard a U.S. battleship before leaving the region.


7:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump is enjoying a six-course state banquet dinner at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo featuring consommé, cote de boeuf and fruit.

The White House says Monday’s menu includes Consommé a la Royale, Turbot a la Meunière Sauce Tomate, Cote de Boeuf Rotie, Salade de Saison, Glace Mont Fuji and a dessert of melon and grapes.

Music is being performed by the Imperial Household Orchestra.

Trump is spending his last night in Tokyo at the banquet hosted by the country’s new emperor and empress.

Also in attendance are a slew of top-ranking Japanese and U.S. officials, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (shin-zoh AH’-bay) and his wife.


8:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump has invoked the name of the era under Japan’s new emperor in his toast at an imperial banquet in his honor.

Emperor Naruhito’s ascension to the throne on May 1 ushered in the era of Reiwa (RAY’-wah), which means “beautiful harmony.”

In the toast at Monday’s banquet in Tokyo, Trump asked that the “cherished bond” between the U.S. and Japan be preserved for the children “in the spirit of beautiful harmony.”

Trump quoted ancient Japanese poetry and said he and first lady Melania Trump will never forget the “gracious” invitation they received to meet Naruhito.

Naruhito in his toast described his family’s ties with previous U.S. presidents and said he sincerely welcomed Trump’s second visit to Japan.


7:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump has arrived at Tokyo’s Imperial Palace for a banquet in his honor.

The president and first lady Melania Trump are being hosted by the new Emperor Naruhito and his wife, Empress Masako. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife also are expected to attend the black-tie dinner with scores of other guests.

The meal caps a busy Monday that made Trump the first word leader to meet with Naruhito since his May 1 ascension to the throne.

Trump then spent hours meeting with Abe to discuss issues including North Korea and trade.


4:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump sided with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and continued to criticize former Vice President and 2020 Democratic hopeful Joe Biden — this time on the world stage.

Trump said in response to a question at a joint press conference with the prime minister of Japan that Kim “made a statement that Joe Biden is a low IQ individual. Trump said the assessment “probably is based on his record. I think I agree with him on that.”

Trump had been asked why he had appeared to side with a brutal autocrat instead of a former vice president.

There had long been a tradition of American leaders and candidates avoiding partisan talk on foreign soil.


4:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump says the U.S. isn’t ready to make a trade deal with China, but he’s leaving open the possibility that the two nations could strike an agreement someday.

Speaking in Tokyo Monday, Trump said of China, “they would like to make a deal. We’re not ready to make a deal.” He added, “We’re taking in tens of millions of dollars of tariffs and that number could go up very, very substantially, very easily.”

Still, Trump predicted a “very good deal with China sometime into the future because I don’t believe that China can continue to pay these really hundreds of billions of dollars in tariffs.”

The world’s two largest economies are in a tense standoff over trade. Trump has said he expected to meet with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, next month at a G-20 meeting in Japan.


4:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he knows that his advisers think that North Korea violated U.N. Security Council resolutions when it fired off short-range missiles earlier this month.

But Trump says he sees it differently — and that it doesn’t matter anyway. Trump said perhaps North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was trying to get attention with the tests.

Trump spoke Monday in Tokyo alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who also believes North Korea’s recent tests violated U.N. resolutions.

Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton agrees, saying sanctions on Pyongyang should remain in place.

North Korea on Monday responded by calling Bolton a “war monger.”


4:05 p.m.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe thanked U.S. President Donald Trump’s support in Japan’s effort resolve its decades-old dispute over abduction of Japanese nationals, renewing his willingness to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un without preconditions.

Abe told a joint news conference with Trump after Monday’s summit that the two leaders were on the same page over their policy to denuclearizing North Korea and that Trump has expressed full support for Abe’s priority in resolving the abduction issue.

North Korea has admitted to abducting about a dozen Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s, and allowed five to return home but says others had died.

Trump has mentioned the abduction issue to Kim in his past two summits. Abe says there is no specific prospect for a summit with Kim.


3:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he’ll work with congressional Democrats on a new North America trade deal and he expects House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would back it.

Speaking Monday at a news conference in Tokyo, Trump said “we will work with them,” on what the administration calls the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA.

He added, “I would think Nancy Pelosi would approve that.”

Democrats want the deal to include stronger enforcement provisions, among other possible changes.

Trump headed for Japan after an explosive, multi-day exchange with Pelosi that torpedoed talks about improving the nation’s roads and bridges. Trump vowed to do no more work with Democrats until they stop investigating him on questions of obstruction.


3:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he thinks North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is looking to create a nation that has great economic strength. Trump says Kim is a smart man who knows that will not happen if he continues to develop nuclear weapons.

Trump said he’s very happy with the way that his negotiations with North Korea.

The talks have stalled since Kim and Trump’s second summit in February in Hanoi.

Speaking Monday in Tokyo, Trump also said he’s not bothered by short-range missile tests North Korea conducted earlier this month.

Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton said the tests violated U.N. Security Council resolutions. Bolton said sanctions on Pyongyang should remain in place.

North Korea on Monday responded by calling Bolton a “war monger” and a “defective human product.”


3:35 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have agreed to cooperate on space exploration.

Speaking at a joint press conference in Tokyo, Trump said, the nations will “be going to the moon and Mars very soon.” He added that “from a military standpoint, there is nothing more important right now than space.”

The leaders did not provide details. Abe spoke of walking “hand in hand” with the United States on some issues. Abe said Japan would be making “new investments” in key U.S. states.

The prime minister said that in part due to Trump’s visit to Japan, the bond between the countries “has become rock solid.”


11:55 a.m.

The Trumps and Japan’s new emperor and empress have exchanged photos and other gifts.

Emperor Naruhito presented President Donald Trump with a traditional Japanese pottery and porcelain bowl. Trump gave the emperor with an American-made viola in a custom case handmade in Charleston, West Virginia, and a photo of U.S. composer Aaron Copland.

Mrs. Trump presented Empress Masako with a White House desk set featuring a fountain pen made from a red oak tree that stands on the grounds of Harvard University. The empress studied economics at Harvard.

The empress presented the first lady an ornamental box with a traditional Japanese design.

The foursome also exchanged photos. The Imperial Palace has a long-standing custom of the emperor and empress exchanging signed, framed photographs with their guests during state visits.


11:20 a.m.

President Donald Trump says he and Japanese Prime Minister have talked about Iran amid rising tension between Tehran and Washington.

With Abe at his side, Trump told reporters at Akasaka Palace on Monday that “nobody wants to see terrible things happen, especially me.” The U.S. president also said that “I do believe Iran would like to talk and if they’d like to talk, we’ll talk also,” adding that Abe has a “very good relationship with Iran.”

Japanese media has reported that Abe is considering a visit to Iran next month. The Kyodo News agency, citing unidentified government sources, said on Friday that Abe’s visit would be likely in mid-June. Earlier this month, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited Tokyo.


11:10 a.m.

President Donald Trump says he and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe “understand each other very well” as the leaders opened bilateral talks at Akasaka Palace.

Abe opened the event by telling Trump, “It was a tremendous honor for us to welcome you.”

With that and other flattery, Abe said the leaders would leaders would begin a summit to discuss North Korea and other “challenges of the international community.” Among other topics they’ll discuss the upcoming G20 summit next month.

Trump said “We are working on the imbalance of trade.” He added that the Japanese “are incredible people with a truly amazing prime minister who’s my friend.”


10:20 a.m.

After his visit with Japan’s new emperor, President Donald Trump is at Tokyo’s official state guest house meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Trump, Abe and their respective teams will be meeting Monday and having lunch together. Trump and Abe will also be participating in a joint press conference at Akasaka Palace.

It’s the second lengthy day of meetings for the pair, who spent Sunday playing golf together, taking in a sumo match and having a couples dinner with their wives.

Trump will be attending a state banquet in his honor Monday evening, and participating in a Memorial Day event Tuesday before heading home.


9:40 a.m.

President Donald Trump and Japan’s Emperor Naruhito walked along a red carpet in the courtyard of the Imperial Palace after meeting on Monday.

Trump is the first world leader to meet Naruhito since he ascended to the throne on May 1.

The president, who is on a state visit to Japan, is being treated to a welcome ceremony full of pomp and pageantry.

Trump stood at attention alone atop a platform before he walked along a red-carpeted route to review troops. He also passed in front of a group of schoolchildren feverishly waving U.S. and Japanese flags.

Trump wore a red tie that matched the color of the carpet. He was accompanied by first lady Melania Trump.


9:25 a.m.

President Donald Trump is at Japan’s Imperial Palace meeting the new emperor.

The president and his wife, first lady Melania Trump, are kicking off Monday’s formal visit with handshakes and greetings with Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako.

Trump is the first world leader to be meet Naruhito, who ascended to the throne on May 1, opening what is called the era of “Reiwa,” or “beautiful harmony.”

Trump will go later to the Japanese state guest house for meetings, a working lunch and joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The president will also be the guest of honor at an imperial banquet at the palace hosted by the emperor.

Trump opened a four-day state visit to Japan on Saturday.

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North Korea worries linger as Trump leaves Japan