MANILA (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump raised North Korea’s missile tests during talks on Monday with the prime ministers of Japan and Australia, and said “a lot” of progress had been made in negotiations on trade.
On the sidelines of a summit of East and Southeast Asian leaders in Manila, Trump met with Japan’s Shinzo Abe and Australia’s Malcolm Turnbull, and said discussions at the meeting would include tensions on the Korean Peninsula and trade.
In brief remarks prior to news media being ushered out of the meeting, Turnbull said North Korea’s “recklessness” needed to be stopped, while Abe said the most immediate challenge was to ensure regional peace and stability.
Following the meeting, the White House said “the three leaders reaffirmed their commitment to maintaining maximum pressure on North Korea in the effort to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.”
“They also discussed expanded security cooperation for enhanced deterrence and defense against North Korean aggression,” the White House said in a statement.
The three men also discussed the need for “free and open” trade in the Indo-Pacific region and “the need to pursue fair and reciprocal trade,” the White House added.
Trump, who campaigned heavily on U.S. trade issues, made pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Asian trade deal one of his first acts in office. His administration has instead pledged to reach bilateral pacts with individual nations.
Countries remaining in the pact have said the deal is advancing without the United States.
Reporting by Steve Holland; Writing by Martin Petty and Susan HeaveyEditing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Jonathan Oatis