all eyes on north korea
President Trump on Sunday evening spoke by phone with both Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping. The separate conversations addressed the same topic — the growing concerns about North Korea's aggression — but the readouts of the phone calls, released by the White House, suggest each was tailored to reflect "the difference in the bilateral relationships between the countries," Politico notes.
Here's the Japanese statement: "The two leaders exchanged views on the growing threat from North Korea, including their unity with respect to increasing pressure on the regime to change its dangerous path. They reaffirmed that the United States-Japan Alliance stands ready to defend and respond to any threat or action taken by North Korea."
And the China statement: "President Trump raised the growing threat posed by North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to a denuclearized Korean Peninsula."
In his conversation with Xi, Trump also "reiterated his determination to seek more balanced trade relations with America's trading partners," suggesting he may revisit his plan to use tariffs, perhaps on steel imports, to punish China for not reining in North Korea.
Chinese state media reported that Xi told Trump that U.S.-China relations have been strained by "some negative factors." That was likely an allusion to a controversial U.S. arms deal with Taiwan, and the U.S.'s recent move into territorial waters in the South China Sea.
Back in April, Trump promised that China would get a "far better trade deal" with the U.S. if the country could "solve the North Korean problem!"