Trump downplays North Korea launches on Japan visit
Live Correspondent: US President Donald Trump Sunday downplayed recent North Korean missile launches as he teed off a state visit to Japan with a round of golf with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and a trip to the sumo.
Before hitting the course, Trump tweeted that North Korea had tested “some small weapons” that had “disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me”.
This appeared to be a reference to US National Security Advisor John Bolton, who said Saturday there was “no doubt” the launches had contravened UN Security Council resolutions.
At their summit, Trump and Abe are likely to touch on tensions with North Korea, which have mounted after a summit in February in Hanoi collapsed without an agreement, as well as trade as Tokyo and Washington attempt to thrash out a deal.
On trade, Trump tweeted that “great progress” was being made in the negotiations but “much will wait” until after Japanese upper house elections expected in July with rumours rife Abe might also call a snap general election at the same time.
The serious diplomacy starts on Monday, when Trump will be the first leader to meet Japan’s new emperor, Naruhito, who has been on the Chrysanthemum Throne for less than a month following his father’s historic abdication.
As Trump’s Marine One helicopter thundered in, shattering the serenity of the course, a casual-looking Abe was there to greet him, sporting white trousers and a blue top. Trump was dressed in a red sweater and black trousers with a red USA cap.
After the golf, the two leaders arrived to see the last bouts on the final day of the sumo “basho”, or tournament, in Tokyo. Trump will present Japanese wrestler Asanoyama with the “President’s Cup” weighing 60-70 pounds (27-32 kilograms) and measuring 54 inches (1.4 metres).
Trump entered the hallowed Ryogoku Kokugikan sumo stadium to loud cheers and a few scattered boos with spectators standing to take photos as the US president waved and smiled.
Fans entering the arena earlier were screened with metal detectors and asked to sip from any bottle they planned to take in to prove the liquid was not dangerous, with the measures causing long queues in unseasonable heat.
“Acts such as throwing of cushions inside the arena may result in ejections and punishments. Please absolutely refrain from doing so,” a flyer said, according to footage from national broadcaster NHK.
Dhaka, 26 May (campuslive24.com)//MIH