In a joint press conference between Prime Minister Abe of Japan and President Trump, the two discussed their shared goals of North Korean denuclearization and improving Indo-American trade relations.

The main message of the conference revolved around the “complete, verifiable, [and] irreversible” denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, the rhetoric used by both President Trump and Prime Minister Abe.

President Trump’s statement first mentioned his “tremendous success” in Asia regarding denuclearization goals, saying effective denuclearization agreements with Kim Jong Un in coming weeks would be a success for the entire world. Trump presented the vision of the Korean peninsula living together in peace: “the fate of the Korean people”, and that he “hope[s] it all works out” because the United States will be “trying very hard”.

A campaign of maximum pressure, according to Trump, will persist until North Korean denuclearization occurs. Ideally, Trump hopes to end nuclear programs in all parts of the world.

He correlated these denuclearization efforts to supporting an increased Japanese defense. Trump thus proposed a weapons sales program, which would expedite American military equipment sales to allies like Japan, so they could be received in a matter of days.

Prime Minister Abe added that the upcoming meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Unwas the “first ever North Korean-United States summit”, and that he was excited by the “frank and straight” nature that him and President Trump had spoken with. Based on previous lies, Abe suggests that the meeting between Trump and Un will demand complete dismantlement of North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction and nuclear missiles.

A secondary goal for both President Trump and Prime Minister Abe involves rescuing abducted Japanese citizens being kept captive in North Korea. When President Trump was questioned whether denuclearization or saving captives was more important, he responded by highlighting the passion PM Abe had in saving abducted citizens.

Finally, both Abe and Trump discussed the possibility of new trade agreements between the United States and Japan. Each country will be sending a trade representative to meet with one another to establish free, fair, and reciprocal trade, President Trump putting emphasis on reciprocity.

Abe suggested that recent tax cuts by President Trump had already increased Japanese investment in United States businesses, increasing US exports and boosting the economy. Abe also suggested that his trade representative will suggest that the TPP is the best solution for a trade partnership between the United States and Japan, which Trump denied.

When questioned regarding the new aluminum and steel tariffs that exempt every one of the United States’ allies except Japan, President Trump cited the enormous trade deficit the US has as his reasoning. Prime Minister Abe countered by pointing out the high quality of Japanese aluminum and steel greatly improving the US economy, suggesting after that they would continue to negotiate against the tariffs.

Grace Jin is a student at Yale University. She’s a multi-time national champion in debate and is passionate about intersectional politics from the perspective of Generation Z.

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