China-US relations

Trump to speak on phone with President Xi Jinping and Japan’s Abe on North Korea

Trump’s talks with the leaders come ahead of a meeting of G20 leaders in Hamburg, Germany, later in the week.

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 02 July, 2017, 12:12pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 02 July, 2017, 3:34pm

US President Donald Trump will speak by telephone with the leaders of China and Japan, in talks that are likely to be dominated by North Korea’s nuclear drive and the threats posed by its belligerent leadership.

The Trump administration has been growing increasingly exasperated with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s government, which has staged a barrage of missile tests in recent months.

Trump had been pinning his hopes on China – North Korea’s main diplomatic ally – to bring pressure to bear on Pyongyang, but declared last week that their efforts had failed.

Watch: Trump says era of patience with North Korea has failed

China’s President Xi Jinping and Trump agreed in their first meeting in April to strengthen coordination in resolving the issue of North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme.

The US leader also agreed with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a meeting in May that pressure should be applied in tackling the threat from Pyongyang.

Trump has presented sanctions as the best way to proceed with the hermit state, opting for that approach over dialogue with the government.

On Sunday, Trump will speak with Xi at 8.45pm (8.45am Monday Hong Kong time) and with Abe at 8.00pm.

During talks with South Korean leader Moon Jae-in – who has pushed for a policy of engagement with Pyongyang – on Friday, Trump called for a “determined response” to the North. But the pair failed to map out a joint strategy on how to respond to North Korean threats.

“The era of strategic patience with the North Korean government has failed, many years it has failed. Frankly, that patience is over,” Trump said.

There was also deep anger in the United States after Otto Warmbier, an American student who was detained in North Korea on a tourist trip around 18 months ago, was returned home in a coma earlier this month. He died several days later.

Additional reporting by Kyodo