North Korea problem 'will be solved', Trump tells Abe ahead of G-7 summit

President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a bilateral meeting at the G-7 summit in Taormina.
President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a bilateral meeting at the G-7 summit in Taormina.PHOTO: REUTERS

TAORMINA, Italy (AFP) - US President Donald Trump said on Friday (May 26) that the "problem" of an increasingly belligerent North Korea would be "solved", as he met with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe just before the start of the G-7 summit.

"It's a big problem, it's a world problem," he said in the Sicilian town of Taormina, adding the issue would be raised in joint meetings with the other six heads of leading industrialised countries.

"It will be solved," he said before going into closed-door talks with Abe, without giving further details.

Pyongyang has launched a series of missiles this year, including a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range projectile this month which the North claimed was capable of carrying a "heavy" nuclear warhead, fuelling tensions with Washington.

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It has carried out two atomic tests since the beginning of last year, insisting it needs nuclear weapons to defend itself against the threat of invasion.

The US is worried that if North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is not stopped, other countries in the region, including Japan and South Korea, would be compelled to seek their own nuclear capability as a defence measure.

Washington says it is willing to enter into talks with North Korea if it halts its nuclear and missile tests, but it has also warned that military intervention was an option, sending fears of conflict spiralling.