Trump at Odds with G-7 Leaders on Trade, Iran, N. Korea, Russia

U.S. President Donald Trump insists discussions are going well at the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, despite apparent differences with leaders on issues including the trade war with China, how to handle Iran, the threat posed by North Korea and bringing Russia back into the grouping of the world’s most advanced democracies.Sunday morning Trump appeared to be softening his stance on his trade war with China.“I have second thoughts about everything,” when asked about the issue..Hours later his press secretary Stephanie Grisham said the president’s statement has been “greatly misinterpreted”. She added, “President Trump responded in the affirmative – because he regrets not raising” tariffs on Chinese goods “higher.”The statement appears to be the White House’s attempt to control the message. Trump often emphasizes that he is the only American leader that can “take on China”, and is betting that his aggressive stance will help him win support from his base as he vies for reelection in 2020.G-7 leaders here have expressed concern about the escalation, with summit host French President Emmanuel Macron saying he hopes for leaders to pull back from an all-out war.“I want to convince all our partners that tensions, and trade tensions in particular are bad for everybody,” he said in a speech.Speaking alongside Trump during their working breakfast meeting, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson publicly refuted Trump’s statement that other leaders have not pressured him to give up the trade war with China, believed to be causing uncertainty in the global economy and volatility in stock markets.“Just to register the faint, sheep-like note of our view on the trade war, we’re in favor of trade peace on the whole, and dialing it down if we can,” Johnson said.Johnson is seen as a natural ally to Trump due to similarities in their populist policies and Brexit. Disagreement on IranU.S President Donald Trump, right, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attend a bilateral meeting at the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, Aug. 25, 2019.During a bilateral meeting with Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Abe strongly condemned North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s recent missile tests.“Our position is very clear,” Abe said through a translator. “The launch of short range ballistic missiles by North Korea clearly violates U.N. Security Council resolutions.”The South Korean military first reported on the two projectiles, suspected to be short-range ballistic missiles that North Korea launched on Saturday into the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea. The launch is the seventh carried out since North Korea ended a 17-month hiatus on testing at the end of July.Trump sought to downplay the North Korean nuclear threat.“I can understand how the Prime Minister of Japan feels,” Trump said. “It’s different.  But, I mean, I can understand that fully.”Trump said he is “not happy” about the tests but did not consider it a violation. He said that the North Korean leader is not the only one testing those missiles.“We’re in the world of missiles, whether you like it or not,” said Trump. 

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