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Trump says stands with Japan against N Korean `menace`, working on trade

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07th-Nov-2017       
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Reuters, Tokyo  :
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that America stood with close ally Japan against the North Korean "menace" and that Washington would work with Tokyo to sort out problems on trade between the world's biggest and third-largest economies.
Speaking after a summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, Trump repeated his mantra the "era of strategic patience" with North Korea was over, and that the two countries were working to counter the "dangerous aggressions" of the North Korean regime, which has fired two rockets over Japan.
He said that Japan would shoot North Korean missiles "out of the sky" after completing purchases of U.S. military equipment.
Abe, for his part, said Tokyo would do so "if necessary".
Trump also pressed Japan to lower its trade deficit with the United States and buy more U.S. military hardware, but Abe dodged questions about the trade deficit.
The U.S. president is on the second day of a 12-day Asian trip that is focusing on trade and North Korea's nuclear missile programs.
"Most 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".
"Some 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 added.
North Korea's recent actions have raised the stakes in the most critical international challenge of Trump's presidency.
The U.S. leader has rattled some allies with his vow to "totally destroy" North Korea if it threatens the United States and with his dismissal of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a "rocket man" on a suicide mission.
Abe, 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.
Japan's 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 U.S. target.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying, in response to Abe's comments, said that the North Korean "situation" was "already extremely complex, sensitive and weak".

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