Tokyo, Nov 6 (IANS) US President Donald Trump declared on Monday that the “era of strategic patience is over” when it comes to America’s stance towards North Korea and reaffirmed his use of harsh rhetoric at a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe here.
Trump arrived in Japan on a two-day visit on Sunday, the first stop in his five-nation tour through Asia from November 5 to 14.
“Some people said that my rhetoric is very strong,” Trump said at the conference alongside Abe. “But look at what’s happened with very weak rhetoric over the last 25 years. Look where we are now.”
The US leader said Japan can shoot down North Korean missiles with the help of US military technology, CNN reported.
Trump said Abe would be well-equipped for an attack from Pyongyang after buying equipment from the US.
“He will shoot them out of the sky when he completes the purchase of lots of additional military equipment from the US,” Trump said.
He added that the purchase of military equipment would bring both employment to the US and safety to Japan.
Abe confirmed that Japan was planning to purchase military equipment from the US. He said the country would be prepared to shoot down a North Korean missile, if necessary, as part of its “legal cooperation” with Washington.
Abe said Japan and the US were in “complete agreement” as to the way forward in dealing with North Korea, including that now was not the time for direct talks with North Korea.
“We were in complete agreement as to the measures to be taken on the situation with North Korea,” Abe said, noting that he agreed “all options” should remain on the table.
The Prime Minister also said now was a time for strengthening sanctions against Pyongyang. “For more than 20 some years, the international community attempted dialogue with North Korea.
“Now is the time not for dialogue but for applying a maximum pressure on North Korea.”
Abe and Trump delivered the rhetoric emphasising a tough strategy on North Korea after meeting earlier with the families of Japanese citizens kidnapped by the North Korean regime, and alluded to the death of American Otto Warmbier to bolster his case for an aggressive approach towards Pyongyang.
Trump encouraged North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un to release all hostages, saying it would send positive signals to the world, the CNN reported.
The US President and First Lady Melania Trump also met Emperor Akihito and his wife Empress Michiko at the Imperial Palace.
Trump also met Japanese and American business leaders where he said: “We want fair and open trade. But right now our trade with Japan is not fair and it’s not open. But I know it will be soon.”
Upon his arrival on Sunday, Trump addressed servicemen at the US-controlled Yokota Air Base near Tokyo. After Japan, Trump will head to South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.
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