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Trump and Abe aim to lessen tension over trade and North Korea

Trump and Abe aim to lessen tension over trade and North Korea

The US has "started talking to North Korea directly", Trump told reporters Tuesday after meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The two leaders are scheduled to have rounds of talks at Trump's retreat in Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday.

President Donald Trump will play host to Japan's Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago this week amid growing strain between the two countries over the president's planned meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and his push for new tariffs.

"Japan and ourselves are locked and we are very unified on the subject of North Korea", Trump said. "We'll be having conversations with Kim Jong Un very soon". -North Korea summit, slated for May or early June.

Privately, however, White House advisers are anxious that five days in Florida will give Trump too much time to brood over Mueller, Russia, and the swirl of scandals now involving Cohen.

Trump also told reporters that the United States has started direct talks with North Korea "at extremely high levels".

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In February previous year, the two men conferred on the dining patio after Kim had ordered the test launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile. Trump said the leaders "do have my blessing" to discuss an official end to the war. White House aides say Trump will take those concerns into serious consideration as he prepares for the historic talks with Kim.

Aside from differences over North Korea, Trump has taken harsh new measures on trade that are expected to come up during the two leaders' meetings.

Velshi also noted it wasn't the only thing that was a bit odd about Trump's remarks during the press opportunity shortly after the arrival of Abe to Mar-a-Lago.

Trump and Abe are having two days of talks largely focused on the prospective summit with Kim. Japan is feeling the pinch of a new 25 percent tariff the Trump administration has imposed on steel imports. Abe, who like Trump, is saddled with political scandals in their capitals, is looking to recapture a personal bond with Trump forged on the golf course - and push for the exemptions already granted to the European Union, Australia, Canada, Mexico and others.

They're also expected to play a round of golf.