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In Japan, Trump to try to put human face on North Korean menace

By in Press Enterprise on November 5, 2017

By The Associated Press

By JONATHAN LEMIRE and JILL COLVIN, Associated Press

TOKYO — After easing into his Asian debut with golf and a taste of home, President Donald Trump is trying to put a human face on North Korea’s menace, hearing from anguished families of Japanese citizens snatched by Pyongyang’s agents.

Trump’s meeting Monday promises to elevate these heart-wrenching tales of loss to the international stage as he hopes to pressure North Korea to end its provocative behavior toward American allies in the region.

North Korea has acknowledged apprehending 13 Japanese in the 1970s and 1980s, but claims all those captives have died or been released. But in Japan, where grieving relatives of the abducted have become a symbol of heartbreak on the scale of American POW families, the government insists nearly 50 people were taken — and believes some may be alive.

Trump has delivered harsh denunciations of the renegade North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, belittling him as “Little Rocket Man” and threatening to rain “fire and fury” on his country if the belligerence continues. But Trump also has begun highlighting the plight of the North Koreans.

“I think they’re great people. They’re industrious. They’re warm, much warmer than the world really knows or understands,” Trump told reporters on Air Force One while flying to Japan on Sunday. “And I hope it all works out for everybody.”

Also on the agenda during Trump’s second day in Asia: an audience with Emperor Akihito, a sit-down with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and a state dinner.

North Korea is the critical issue looming over Trump’s 12-day, five-country trip that will include direct talks with Trump’s Chinese and Russian counterparts.

In Washington, a new analysis emerged from the Pentagon saying that a ground invasion of North Korea is the only way to locate and destroy, with complete certainty, all components of Kim’s nuclear […]    

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