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Trump meets with Abe on 'big problem' North Korea

By Andrew V. Pestano
Trump meets with Abe on 'big problem' North Korea
(L-R) EU Council President Donald Tusk, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.S. President Donald J. Trump, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, British Prime Minister Theresa May and European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker pose for a group photo on the first day of the G7 Summit at the Teatro Greco in Taormina, Italy, on Friday. Photo by Ettore Ferrari/EPA

May 26 (UPI) -- U.S. President Donald Trump said North Korea is a "big problem" that "will be solved" during a meeting Friday with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ahead of the G7 summit in Italy.

The leaders of the United States, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, and Canada are in the Sicilian town of Taormina to hold talks for two days.

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Prior to formally kicking off the G7 summit, Trump and Abe met to discuss numerous issues, including terrorism.

"It's great to have Prime Minister Abe, a friend of mine ... [we] developed a great relationship," Trump said ahead of the closed-door meeting. "And it's wonderful to have him here. We'll be discussing many things, including, of course, North Korea, which is very much on our minds."

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Though historically strained, tensions between North Korea, and U.S. allies South Korea and Japan have been particularly uneasy due to ongoing aggressive rhetoric and continued North Korean missile tests.

"I think we'll really be focused on the North Korea problem. It's a big problem. It's a world problem. And it will be solved at some point. It will be solved. You can bet on that," Trump added.

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The G7 leaders are expected to tackle trade and climate change. The U.S. allies are expected to urge Trump not to abandon the 2015 Paris climate change agreement.

The G7, or Group of Seven, summit is a gathering of the leaders of the world's most industrialized economies, as well as the European Union. The 2017 summit is titled "Building the Foundations of Renewed Trust."

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Trump is abroad on his first foreign trip as president. On Thursday, Trump visited NATO headquarters in Brussels and told top European Union officials that many member nations must spend more on defense.

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