Trump to meet Xi, Abe

WASHINGTON- US President Donald Trump would speak with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, calls that came as frustration builds in the White House over North Korea’s nuclear program and overcapacity in the steel market.

The talks come ahead of meetings he would hold with both leaders on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7-8, where trade practices are expected to be high on the agenda.

Mr Trump, who pledged a hard line on trade during his campaign for office, had been weighing new quotas or tariffs on steel imports for national security reasons and planned to discuss his concerns at the G20.

The White House said the phone calls were scheduled for 8 pm EDT.

Mr Trump, who met with Mr Xi in April in Florida, had said he was willing to work with China on trade issues but wanted to see Beijing use its economic leverage to force North Korea to scale back its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, which were a threat to the US and allies South Korea and Japan.

But Mr Trump has become frustrated that China had not done more to pressure Pyongyang, and had been considering moving ahead on trade actions.

Mr Trump also called for a determined response to North Korea after talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday in Washington.

North Korea and the rich, democratic South are technically still at war because their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. Pyongyang defends its weapons programs as necessary to counter U.S. hostility and regularly threatens to destroy the United States.

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