On June 26, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the United States will not place a deadline on North Korea’s denuclearization. Even though he insisted that the U.S. will regularly assess the seriousness of North Korea’s commitment to giving up its nuclear weapons program, the Trump administration’s apparent reluctance to hold Pyongyang accountable by setting a concrete time line is a source of worry for Tokyo. Japan was already growing increasingly anxious about the U.S. commitment to addressing its concerns during the negotiations with North Korea.
The question of how close Prime Minister Shinzo Abe really is to President Donald Trump began to emerge after his visit to the U.S. to meet him in mid-April. Despite their talks over two days — both on and off the golf course — Abe failed to convince Trump to reverse his decision to impose a hefty tariff on Japan’s steel and aluminum exports to America.
This article was originally published by The Japan Times on June 28, 2018. Read the full article here.