Abe, Trudeau discuss TPP, North Korea in phone call: source

Kyodo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau discussed how to respond to the U.S. withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal in a telephone call Wednesday, according to a government source.

Abe and Trudeau have both recently held talks in Washington with U.S. President Donald Trump, who pulled the country out of the TPP with an executive order late last month.

The pact, which includes Japan and Canada among its 12 signatories, cannot come into force under its current terms without the United States. Abe has promoted the TPP’s strategic and economic benefits.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, the government’s top spokesman, confirmed the phone conversation took place but did not mention what was discussed.

According to the source, the leaders also agreed to coordinate their response to North Korea, which carried out its latest ballistic missile test on Feb. 12 while Abe and Trump were meeting in the United States.

Abe and Trudeau spoke about increasing pressure on Pyongyang, including through the rigorous implementation of U.N. sanctions, the source said.