Trump Asks Abe Why South Korea Is Passive about US-Japan-Korea Relations

At the U.S.-Japan summit in Washington on April 26, the two leaders of the U.S. and Japan discussed South Korea’s passive response to cooperation with the U.S. and Japan, according to a Japanese government source yesterday. Earlier on April 11, the Korea-U.S. summit was held at the White House. After talking with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about the state of affairs in East Asia, including the North Korean nuclear issue, Donald Trump asked Abe why Korean President Moon Jae-in is so uninvolved in U.S.-Japan-South Korea relations. The source said that Abe tried to respond with personal insights about the issue. The source added that Trump often turns to Abe with such questions, as the businessman is not familiar with the internal affairs of Asia, including relations between Korea, China and Japan. Trump surprised those who participated in the White House talks at the time with his firm trust in Abe, saying that his answer is a “yes” if Abe’s answer is a “yes.”

Some analysts say that President Trump has told his friend Abe that is not pleased with South Korea’s attitude in not cooperating firmly with the U.S. and Japan in northeast Asia. There are also rumors that President Trump and Abe also talked about increasing Germany and Korea’s share of defense costs.

Prime Minister Abe is visiting Iran on June 12 to mediate relations between the U.S. and Iran, which is becoming increasingly confrontational. The day before his departure, Prime Minister Abe held a 20-minute telephone conference with President Trump to coordinate both sides of the argument.

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