Trump and Abe to Discuss North Korea Projectiles

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Donald Trump are set to talk by telephone on Monday and discuss projectiles fired by North Korea, national broadcaster NHK said, Reuters writes.

North Korea fired several “unidentified short-range projectiles” into the sea off its east coast on Saturday, prompting the South to urge its communist neighbor to “stop acts that escalate military tension on the Korean peninsula.”

North Korea’s official media reported the same day that leader Kim Jong-un had inspected a number of large-caliber, long-range rocket launchers. South Korea’s military on Saturday detected a number of projectiles that had been fired up to 200 km off North Korea’s east coast.

The phone talks will take place at Abe’s request, the sources said. The foreign ministers of Japan, the United States and South Korea held phone talks separately on Saturday and agreed to cooperate closely, the Japan Times informed.

According to Nikkei Asian Review, meanwhile, U.S. and South Korean militaries are rushing to gather intelligence on the nature of the launch conducted Saturday by Pyongyang.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, appearing Sunday on CBS show “Face the Nation,” said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was under pressure and that his recent visit to Russia may have influenced his decision-making.

“You saw this happen right after Chairman Kim’s visit to Russia, right? Right after he spoke with [President] Vladimir Putin, he made the decision to take these actions,” the secretary said.

“We are still evaluating the appropriate response,” Pompeo said. “We are going to exhaust every diplomatic opportunity there is … We still believe the right path forward for Chairman Kim is to denuclearize without resort to anything beyond diplomacy.”

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