DONALD TRUMP pressed Japan to buy anti-missile systems yesterday to counter North Korea’s “threat to the civilised world.”
Speaking at a press conference in Tokyo, the US president and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed “all options are on the table” over Pyongyang’s recent nuclear and missile tests, one of which flew over Japan.
When Mr Abe was asked why that ballistic missile was not shot down, Mr Trump butted in to say: “He will shoot ’em out of the sky when he completes the purchase of lots of additional military equipment from the United States.”
China and Russia have already protested over US anti-ballistic missile bases in South Korea, saying they are intended to neutralise their own nuclear deterrence.
Mr Trump accused Pyongyang of jeopardising “international peace and stability” just days after a bomber from US colony Guam flew close to North Korean airspace.
Manoeuvres involving three US navy aircraft carrier battle groups are set to accompany Mr Trump’s tour of the region, which will also take him to Beijing.
“Some people say my rhetoric is very strong but look what has happened with very weak rhetoric in the last 25 years,” he said.
China and Russia have urged a return to six-nation talks on denuclearising the Korean peninsula, in hiatus since 2008.
The two leaders also posed with the families of some of the 13 Japanese imprisoned in North Korea in the 1970s and ’80s.
Mr Trump said it would send “a tremendous signal” if Pyongyang returned the captives, who the government insists have all since been released or died.