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Trump on Possibility for North Korea Dialogue: 'Why Not?'

Japan’s prime minister said at a meeting with President Trump today that “dialogue for the sake of dialogue would not produce anything” with North Korea, while Trump said “why not” to the possibility of more dialogue with Pyongyang.

“The key at this moment is to exercise and apply pressure against North Korea in a robust manner,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a bilateral meeting with Trump on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. “And together with Donald, we’ve been successfully demonstrating our strong will to exercise pressure against North Korea. And that actually led to the unification of the international community to address this challenge.”

Trump lauded China for reportedly telling their banks to stop doing business with North Korea. “That was a tremendous move, and we have great respect,” he said.

At a meeting with Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Trump announced a new executive order that “significantly expands our authorities to target individuals, companies, financial institutions that finance and facilitate trade with North Korea” and “enhances the Treasury Department’s authorities to target any individual or entity that conducts significant trade in goods, services, or technology with North Korea.”

“I must tell you that this is a complete denuclearization of North Korea that we seek,” he added. “Cannot have this as a world body any longer.”

Moon said he’s “very confident that such moves” like sanctions and China’s banking freeze “will contribute to complete denuclearization of DPRK.”

“I sincerely hope that there will be a display of strong trilateral leadership in coordinating our responses for the North Korean issue,” the South Korean leader said. “And I also look forward to engaging in in-depth discussions for the solution to North Korean nuclear and missile problem.”

Abe noted that over the past three weeks, “two times North Korea launched ballistic missiles — two times — going over Japan. And they conducted six nuclear tests, and the scale of the test was beyond the scale of Hiroshima bombs, more than 10 times the scale of the nuclear tests; it was ten times more. This is an intolerable, outrageous act.”

“So we are going into the new stage of pressure from the viewpoint of exercising the stronger pressure, new pressures,” the Japanese prime minister said. “…Bearing in mind those measures between the three countries, we will have the collaboration so that we will move toward the abandoning of nuclear weapons and nuclear program by North Korea, and we’d like to lead into the next action.”

Asked if dialogue is still possible with North Korea, Trump replied, “Why not?”