Trump, Putin discuss North Korea over phone: White House
Washington: US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation, talking about how to resolve the situation in North Korea, the White House has said.
Russia said Trump initiated the phone call to thank Putin for his favourable assessment of his work, USA On Friday reported.
The two sides sent out only bare-bones summaries of the afternoon phone call, but the White House version of the call noted that Trump "thanked Putin for acknowledging America's strong economic performance" earlier in the day.
Earlier in the day, at his annual freewheeling press conference, Putin remarked on the booming US stock market -- a regular Trump talking point -- and said it was a sign that investors "trust in what President Trump has been doing in this field".
Speaking about his assessment of Trump's first year in office, Putin in Moscow said that he found "some major achievements in the White House". In response to Putin's remarks, Trump thanked the Russian leader "for acknowledging America's strong economic performance".
The two presidents "discussed working together to resolve the very dangerous situation in North Korea," Efe quoted the White House statement as saying on Thursday.
Putin at the presser also said he wanted to normalise relations with Washington, and stressed that there were many issues on which both the countries could join forces, including the fight against international terrorism.
When asked about the personal relationship with his US counterpart, Putin assured that they have been in contact.
Meanwhile, the Japanese government on Friday imposed new unilateral sanctions on North Korea, which include freezing the assets of Pyongyang-based companies, in response to the launch of the country's latest
The new sanctions come as an addition to a long list of punitive measures imposed by Japan which affect North Korean companies of different sectors and senior officials of the Kim Jong-un regime, as well as the movement of citizens between the two countries, reports Efe news.
The government decided to add 19 more companies to the list of businesses whose assets have been frozen, including companies involved in financial services, coal and oil traders, shipping and the supply of workers overseas, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said. With the latest announcement, the total number of North Korean companies or entities subject to Japanese sanctions increased to 56, while 62 individuals have also been blacklisted. Many of these entities and people also figure in sanctions by the UN Security Council. In a press conference, Suga said the expanded sanctions, effective Friday, are in response to North Korea's continued provocative statements and actions as well as a lack of progress on the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea decades ago.
He added that the move was timed to coincide with a UNSC ministerial meeting on the situation on the Korean peninsula, to be held in New York later on Friday.
The meeting will discuss the latest North Korean missile launch as well as the conciliatory message issued by United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson this week, amid numerous calls for dialogue between the international community and the Kim Jong-un regime. The intercontinental ballistic missile, launched by North Korea on November 29, is seen as another step towards the regime's goal of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching US territory.