President Donald Trump held separate telephone conversations Monday with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, continuing to discuss the threat posed by the regime of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, which has ramped up military provocations in recent weeks.
The White House, which typically releases readouts of phone calls between the president and foreign leaders, had not yet done so as of early Monday morning.
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China’s state-run television network reported Monday local time that Xi called on the U.S. to exercise restraint in dealing with North Korea rather than exacerbating already strained tensions. He also reportedly told Trump that China opposes any activity that goes against the United Nations Security Council, on which both the Chinese and U.S. governments hold veto power.
According to Bloomberg, Abe told reporters following his own call with Trump that the Japanese military had begun naval exercises with the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and its battle group, the vessels that had supposedly been sent to the region earlier this month but instead completed drills with the Australian navy before heading north toward the Korean Peninsula.
Abe also praised Trump’s approach to military policy toward North Korea.
“I said I had high regard for President Trump’s ability to use actions and words to show that all options are on the table,” Abe said in remarks to the media. “We were in complete agreement that we would need to continue to firmly urge restraint by North Korea, given that it has continued these dangerous provocations.”