WASHINGTON (CBSMiami/CNN) – President Donald Trump is hosting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the White House.READ MORE: Royal Family Pays Final Respects To Prince Philip, Funeral Held At St. George's Chapel
The two leaders have much to discuss including President Trump’s upcoming summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and what he hopes to accomplish.
Trump and Abe both agree that the ultimate goal needs to be the complete shutdown of North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. But some in Japan are worried a Trump-Kim deal could still leave Japan vulnerable to shorter range North Korean missiles.
Trump said Thursday he may invite North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to the United States if their meeting in Singapore next week goes well.
“Yes … if it goes well, I think that could happen,” he told reporters during a Rose Garden news conference, taking questions alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Trump also said he could envision a normalization of ties between the US and North Korea if a deal is reached with Kim.
“Normalizing relations is something that I would expect to do after everything is complete,” Trump said. “We would certainly like to see normalization.”
Trump also reiterated his position on a series of other issues, making clear the US, South Korea, Japan and China will help North Korea’s economy if a deal is reached.
While sanctions remain in place on North Korea, the term “maximum pressure” is retired — for now, Trump added.
“Maximum pressure is absolutely in effect. We don’t use the term anymore because we are going into a friendly negotiation,” Trump said.
“Perhaps after that negotiation I will be using it again,” he said. “You’ll know how well we do with the negotiation. If you hear me saying we are going to use maximum pressure, you know the negotiation did not do well, frankly.”READ MORE: 60 Years After The Bay Of Pigs Invasion, Many Cuban Americans' Distrust Of The Democratic Party Still Affects National Politics
Trump said he had a list of 300 “massive sanctions” to apply on Pyongyang, but he was holding off as the diplomacy proceeds.
Earlier Thursday, Trump said the summit will be “more than a photo-op.”
The “summit is all ready to go” and that it could extend beyond a single day, Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.
Trump welcomed Abe for their second meeting in less than two months to discuss Trump’s upcoming summit with Kim in Singapore next week.
Abe, who enjoys a close relationship with Trump, is expected to continue to press Trump to strike a hard line with Kim and to urge him to maintain pressure on North Korea until it agrees to full and verifiable denuclearization.
Abe has also said he will urge Trump to raise the issue of Japanese abductees held in North Korea during his discussions with Kim.
“Ahead of this historic US-North Korea summit, I will meet President Trump to coordinate in order to advance progress on the nuclear issue, missiles and — most importantly — the abductees issue, I want to ensure the US-North Korea summit will be a success,” Abe said Wednesday.
Trump tweeted Thursday that he also plans to discuss trade issues with Abe in addition to coordinating with Japan on the upcoming Singapore summit.
Abe most recently traveled to the US in April to meet with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate, where he warned trump of North Korean negotiating ploys and urged him to closely coordinate with Japan ahead of the summit.
The Japanese prime minister has been publicly supportive of Trump’s diplomatic efforts with North Korea, but he has struck a more cautious note about the summit than South Korea’s Moon Jae-in, the prime minister of the US’ other closest ally in the region, who has staked his presidency on the prospect of a diplomatic resolution with North Korea.MORE NEWS: Justice Department Sues Roger Stone In Fort Lauderdale Over $2 Million In Unpaid Taxes
(©2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. CNN contributed to this report.)