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President Trump And Prime Minister Abe Hold News Conference; Trump And Abe Met With Families Of Kidnapped Japanese; Trump Committed To Achieving Far Reciprocal Trade Relations; President Trump: Texas Shooting Caused By Mental Health Problem. Aired 1-2a ET.

Aired November 6, 2017 - 01:00   ET


[01:00:00] SHINZO ABE, PRIME MINISTER OF JAPAN (through translator): My dear friend President Trump and Madam Melania Trump to Japan. This first trip of President Trump to Asia is a historic visit in the current regional situation which is ever more tense. And his first nation to visit on his tour in Japan. This made this historic significance even greater. In this way, two of us were able to show to the rest of the world the unshakeable Japan/U.S. alliance. Thank you, Donald.

For the last two days, I was able to have an in-depth discussion with Donald on a plethora of issues that the international community is faced with. In the discussion, overwhelming importance was occupied by the North Korean issue. We were in complete agreement as to the measures to be taken for the analysis of the latest situation of North Korea, giving a good amount of time.

Japan consistently supports the position of President Trump when he says that all options are on the table. Through the talks over two days, I once again strongly reaffirmed that Japan and the U.S. are 100 percent together. For more than 20-some year, the international community attempted dialogue with North Korea. At the time of free America agreement of 1994, and of the six-party agreement of 2006, North Korea committed to abandoning their nuclear program, but each time the promise was broken which resulted in North Korea buying time for their nuclear and missile development while we were making efforts for dialogue.

There is no point in the dialogue for the sake of dialogue with North Korea. Now, is the time, not for dialog, but for applying maximum level of pressure on North Korea. We completely agreed that in order to make North Korea change their policy, Japan and U.S. must take leadership in closely collaborating with international communities so that we can enhance the pressure to the maximum level over North Korea, through all possible means.

I agree with President Trump that we welcome China, strengthening her pressure over North Korea. And it is incumbent upon China to play even greater roles to let North Korea relinquish their nuclear and missile development. We reaffirmed once again the importance of further advancing trilateral cooperation among Japan, U.S., and the Republic of Korea -- a country President Trump will visit tomorrow. Before this press conference, President and Mrs. Trump were good

enough to meet with the members of the families of abductees. I would like to render my heartfelt gratitude for their listening so intently to what the family members had to tell them. Until the day when all the families of the abductees embrace their loved ones in their own arms. Until that day, my mission is not complete.

I am sure that the families -- I have renewed my resolve to work in full force to seek the resolution of this issue. I have decided to take our own additional sanction measures in our efforts to seek resolution of the nuclear and the most important abduction issues of North Korea. Tomorrow, there will be a decision on freezing assets of 35 North Korean entities and individuals.

Going forward, Japan and the U.S. will continue to cooperate closely for the early resolution of the North Korean issues. I also discussed bilateral economic issues with President Trump. We welcomed that in the second meeting of Japan-U.S. economic dialogue held last month between Deputy Prime Minister Aso and Vice President Pence, the importance of strengthening bilateral economic trade and the investment relations was confirmed.

And we will go deeper into our dialogue. We agreed that we will continue our discussion in order to invigorate more the bilateral trade and investment and enhance our cooperation in areas of law enforcement, energy, infrastructure among the others. Japan and the U.S. are the two global economic leaders occupying 30 percent of the global economy, sharing common values such as freedom and fairness.

[01:05:17] The significance of Japan/U.S. alliance is not limited on security front alone. In the economic field, it greatly contributes to the prosperity of the region and the world. I, together with President Trump, shall work not only in the field of bilateral trade but also lead in the high standard rule-making in trade and investment broadly in the Asia Pacific region. I am determined to see to it so that both Japan and U.S. strongly lead the regional, and eventually the global economic growth by our cumulative efforts in creating fair and effective economic order in this region.

With the president, I discussed APEC and East Asian Summit meetings that we will be going after this. In this Pacific Region, covering the vast area of Asia Pacific through the Indian Ocean to the Middle Eastern Africa is the growth center of the world with more than half the world population. The maintenance and enhancements of the maritime order that are free and open is critically important for the peace and prosperity of this region, and we concurred to strengthen our cooperation toward realizing free and open Indo-Pacific.

A merely unwavering Japan/U.S. alliance, I shall play a leadership role for the peace and prosperity of this region, hand in hand with President Trump. For the last two days, I had indeed very serious discussions with President Trump. I also had an opportunity to play golf with our top pro-Hideki Matsuyama yesterday.

Indeed, the match was a neck and neck competition, in my opinion. What was the reality? I hope that Mr. Trump will give his evaluation. The dinner where Mrs. Trump joined was in such a truly relaxed atmosphere that we almost forgot how time flew. I am greatly very much satisfied. I hope they enjoyed the banquet later on by all means. Thank you very much. Thank you very much, President Trump. The floor is yours.


Well, thank you very much, Shinzo. And this has been a truly enjoyable trip and one where we're accomplishing a lot. And I agree with you that our relationship is extraordinary. And I agree with you also that there has never been such a close relationship between the leaders of two countries -- these two countries, Japan and the United States. So, it's been great to be with you and we'll be spending a lot of time with you over the years.

Melania and I are deeply grateful for the warm welcome we've received in your remarkable country -- that's what it is. It is a remarkable country. It's a land of incredible history, culture, tradition, and spirit. First, let me congratulate you on your great success in the recent elections. You won very big and very easily. And I'm not at all surprised. We both share in common, and really a deep loyalty to our citizens and a deep faith in the destiny of our people and also our people and our countries working together.

I also want to take a moment to continue sending our thoughts, prayers, and deepest condolences to the victims of the horrific assault on a church in a beautiful area, so sad, Sutherland Springs, Texas. Such a beautiful, wonderful area with incredible people. Who would ever think a thing like this could happen? So, I want to send my condolences, the condolences of our first lady.

In tragic times, Americans always pull together. We are always strongest when we are unified. To the wounded and the families of the victims, all of America is praying for you. Supporting you and grieving alongside you.

Prime minister, I want to thank and the people of Japan for your friendship. We have so many great things that we can accomplish together and we are in the process of accomplishing those things. It was a thrill for my daughter Ivanka to be able to participate in the world assembly for women, and promote women entrepreneurship side by side. Our two nations are dancing policies to empower women and harness the full potential of our great economies.

[01:10:23] You were the first foreign leader to visit me shortly after my election. And now, it is my pleasure to join you in your homeland to further strengthen the historic ties between our two great nations. As you know, this is my first visit to the Indo-Pacific Region as president. I've been here before, but as president, this is my first and it is my first. And I am thrilled that my first stop was with you, great friend.

We're going to other countries where I have also developed some great friendships. And we're going to work the straighten a lot of things out including trade, including military problems. We have a lot of things to work. But this is a real honor to be with you, Shinzo. Japan is a very special place. The Japanese people are thriving. Your cities are vibrant and you built one of the most powerful economies. I don't know if it's as good as ours, I think not, OK? And we're going to try to keep it that way, but you'll be second.

And yet, for all its modern splendor, the people of Japan maintained a profound respect for their rich culture, heritage, and traditions. Honoring the past, even as you blaze new trails into the future. Very, very strongly looking into the future is Japan. You demonstrate every day that respect for history and heritage is the true foundation for progress. Our nations share an enduring bond.

America and Japan face many challenges, many opportunities. There are many things we face. But we will be facing them together in friendship and as allies. Most importantly, we're working to counter the dangerous aggressions of the regime in North Korea. The regime continued development of its unlawful weapons programs including illegal nuclear tests and outrageous launches of ballistic missile directly over Japanese territory -- are a threat to the civilized world and international peace and stability.

We will not stand for that. The era of strategic patience is over. Some people said that my rhetoric is very strong. But look what's happened with very weak rhetoric over the last 25 years. Look where we are right now. Prime Minister Abe has also shared with me the tragic stories of Japanese young people whom North Korea has abducted over the years. Together, we met with the parents of Nagumo Yakuda, who was abducted as a young girl in 1977. No child should ever be subjected on to such cruelty. No parent should have to endure 40 years of heartbreak.

We also had a young wonderful man in our country, Otto Warmbier. We all know the story of Otto. A horrible story. A sad story, and we can't let that happen. We cannot let that happen. The United States of America stands in solidarity with the people of Japan against the North Korean menace. History has proven over and over that strong and free nations will always prevail over tyrants who oppressed their people.

Our powerful and enduring U.S./Japan alliance includes more than 50,000 members of the United States military stationed right here in Japan. In addition to that, we have 33,000 stationed in South Korea. American and Japanese military personnel trained together, work together and will stand together to defend the security and sovereignty of both of our countries.

[01:15:01] I want to thank the entire Japanese people for acting as such gracious hosts and strong partners for our men and women in the armed forces. America is also committed to improving our economic relationship with Japan. As president of the United States, I'm committed to achieving a fair, free, and reciprocal trading relationship.

We seek equal and reliable access for the American exports through Japan's markets in order to eliminate our chronic trade imbalances and deficits with Japan, we're working on that -- something we've all been working on very hard from the very beginning of our meeting. As we continue pursuit closer economic ties, I believe it will create new and exciting opportunities to achieve greater prosperity in both of our nations and to advance new frontiers in science, medicine, and technology.

The United States respects and honors Japan's heritage, and admires your deep well of perseverance. I appreciate very much your acknowledging and stating the fact that the United States economy has done so well since our election on November 8th. Close to two million jobs, the highest stock market in our history. So many things are happening for the better, including the cutting off massive amounts of regulation, which is one of the reasons that the market's reacting the way it's reacting.

This mutual respect for culture and sovereignty will continue to bring our nations closer and closer together and open up new avenues of cooperation and success. Mr. Prime Minister, thank you again for inviting me today, and for opening the arms of your majestic country to our American delegation, all of whom are right now in this room. I look forward to working side by side with you. In friendship, we will have success like rarely seen between two countries. Japan and the United States of America -- two very, very special places. Thank you for having us. Thank you very much.

ABE: Thank you very much, Mr. President. Now, we will accept the question from the press.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you wish to speak, please raise your hand and be recognized by me or Mr. Sanders. And then, please come to the standing microphone, and then please identify yourself by stating your name and affiliation and proceed to your question.

First, Japanese press. I will ask a question from the Japanese press which will be followed by the U.S. accompanying press. So, we will accept questions from two journalists respectively. And please identify to whom the question is addressed, either to the prime minister or to President Trump. So, first is the Japanese press. Any person to speak up? Yes, please?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Harao from NHK. This is a question to Mr. Abe.: the prime minister and President Trump have agreed on maximizing the pressure towards the relinquishing of nuclear development by North Korea. Mr. Trump is going to Korea and China, and then there is going to be an APEC leaders' meetings of Mr. Abe. What is your idea about the significance of this bilateral summit meeting? On the other hand, North Korea is still fixing its attitude, not responding to the relinquishing of nuclear development. What is necessary in order to avoid any accidental military confrontation?

ABE: Well, Japan and U.S. alliance, being the foundation of the regional peace and prosperity. Precisely, when Japan/U.S. partners strongly, the peace of this region becomes unshakeable. From that perspective, I consider that this time we were able to reaffirm strong bonds and ties between Japan and the United States. On this opportunity of the visit of President Trump, this was quite significant for the regional peace. On the North Korean situation between President Trump and myself, we confirm that we are together 100 percent. We will enhance the pressure that the entire international community exercises over North Korea to the maximum extent by both Japan and the United States collaborating and working toward China and Russia.

[01:20:11] No one likes conflicts. I don't like it, Mr. Trump neither. But North Korea continues its provocation against the international communities. So, we need to collaborate with the international communities so that they change their policy. We must exercise our pressure, and from the North Korea, we will change our policy so please come talk to us. I think this is what is most important that we expect. And we have a complete agreement with President Trump. And together with many countries, I'm sure that we share in the same thinking.

Also, the free and open maritime order based upon the regional law is the foundation of the stability and prosperity of the international community. This time around, as the first leg of his tour in Asia, President and I were able to reaffirm that both countries will make efforts looking toward the Indo-Pacific which is free and open -- very significant. There will be APEC leaders' meeting and a summit meeting. In these meetings, I'd like to take leadership in driving this kind of discussion. So, free and open Indo-Pacific strategy; if any country would agree with this strategy with whatever country we can collaborate for the implementation of this strategy. So, we will continue to have a partnership between Japan and the United States, so that we can contribute jointly to the peace and stability of the region.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Thank you. The United States' first question. We'll to go Steve Holland from Reuters.

STEVE HOLLAND, SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, REUTERS: Pardon me. Thank you, sir. In response to the Texas shooting, what policies would you support to reduce these violent actions? Is gun control a (INAUDIBLE)? And secondly, you spoke yesterday about the warrant of the North Korean people, what's your answer to their leader, Kim Jong- un, as you prepare ahead for South Korea tomorrow? If I could ask the prime minister a question as well, could you respond to what the president said this morning that trade is not free and reciprocal in the United States? Thank you.

TRUMP: As far as the North Korean people are concerned, Steve, I think that these are great people. They're under a very repressive regime, and I really think that, ultimately, I can tell you this that I hope it all works out. It would be better for everybody. Certainly, it would be better for North Korea. But I would be better for everybody, so we hope that's going to take place.

As far as your second question which is really the first part of your question, I think that mental health is your problem here. This was a very -- based on preliminary reports, very deranged individual. A lot of problems over a long period of time. We have a lot of mental health problems in our country, as do other countries. But this isn't a gun's situation. I mean, we could go into it, but it's a little bit soon to go into it.

But fortunately, somebody else had a gun that was shooting in the opposite direction. Otherwise, it would have been as bad as it was, it would've been much worse. But this is a mental health problem at the highest level. It's a very, very sad event. Steve, these are great people and a very, very sad event. But that's the way I view it. Thank you.

ABE: With what President Trump, trade and economic matters, bilateral issues, we did discuss. On the economic matter, how U.S. and Japanese economies should be, there is a dialogue going on between Mr. Aso and Mr. Pence. There were two meetings already.

So, on the question of the economy together with President Trump, not only regarding the bilateral trade, we would like the see the entire region of Asia Pacific. High-standard rule-making is something that we want to pursue. So, we with both countries in this region, we will make efforts to create an economic order which is fair and effective.

So that regarding both economies, mutually, we would like to see the mutual development of both economies. So, in the United States, already -- since the start of Trump administration, partly, thanks to the Japanese investment, 17,000 jobs have created in the United States. So, all countries of the world, vis-a-vis the United States, they make an investment, but Japanese ranks in terms of job creation.

[01:25:18] So, the economic relations between the two countries may develop further thereby creating, thereby growing the economy. So, in creating both countries' economies, (INAUDIBLE) the economic dialogue and framework would be quite relevant and we'd like to see a good outcome from that dialogue. We'll go back to the Japanese press for questions, yes, please?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) from (INAUDIBLE) newspaper company. I have a question to President Trump. You met with the family members of abductees and you met with Hitomi Soga, actual abductee. How can you comment your meeting with them to North Korea? Is there a possibility of U.S. military action? Suppose that the U.S. decides to go on it, the abductees rescue, how do you think about it once the military action is to be imminent?

TRUMP: Well, I think it's very, very sad. I look at what's happened and it's a very, very sad thing. Who's ever heard of anything, who's abducted by hostile country for purposes of language, for purposes of -- it could be any number of another reason. We'll see what happens in terms of the ultimate conclusion, but I did put it in my speech at the United Nations and many people in Japan were really thrilled that I did, because a lot of people thought that the folks we're talking about or forgotten about -- like I said, the forgotten people.

Well, they were maybe the forgotten people, but I can tell you, your great prime minister did not forget -- he didn't it all. So, we'll work together and see if we can do something. Now, the spotlight is on, and perhaps we can have some very good luck, and perhaps the regime itself would send them back. I think it would be a tremendous signal if Kim Jong-un would send them back. If he would send them back, that would the start of something, I think, would be just something very special if they would do that. But I spoke with people who were devastated and they've been devastated for many years. They think they're alive but they don't know -- probably makes it even tougher that way, but we'll see what happens. Thank you.

SANDERS: Thank you. The second question from the United States, Mark Landler, New York Times.

MARK LANDLER, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, NEW YORK TIMES: Thank you very much. My first question is to President Trump. Mr. President, you've spent the last two days reaffirming the U.S./Japan alliance, and you've begun sketching out this vision of a free and open Indo- Pacific. But in two days, you're going to traveling to China -- a country that is neither free nor open. So, my question is: how can the U.S. be a force for freedom and openness in the region without inevitably coming into conflict with China?

And then to the prime minister. Mr. Prime Minister, the has president has spoken on many occasions in the past about hoping to see the Japanese take a strong roll in their own defense -- he'd like to sell Japan military equipment. And there have been press reports that the president was disappointed that the Japanese didn't shoot North Korean missile out of the sky -- the one that was shot over Hokkaido. I'm wondering, did this subject come up? And what message did you have for the president about the role you'd like to see Japan take in its defense?

TRUMP: Thank you, Mark. I will say, if I could just take a piece of the prime minister's answer, he will shoot them out of the sky when he completes the purchase of lots of additional military equipment from the United States. He will easily shoot them out of the sky. Just like we shot something out of the sky the other day in Saudi Arabia, as you saw, and that was a very rapidly moving missile shot out of the sky.

That was a needle in the sky, and it was hit immediately and exploded without damage. So, one thing the things, I think, that's very important is that the prime minister of Japan is going to be purchasing massive amounts of military equipment -- as he should. And we make the best military equipment by far, and he'll be purchasing it from the United States, whether it's the F35 Fighter, which is great in the world -- total stealth -- or whether its missiles of many different kinds. It's a lot of jobs for us and a lot of safety for Japan and other countries that are likewise, purchasing a lot of military equipment from us. That frankly a year ago and two years ago, we're not -- as far as China's concerned, my relationship, as you know, with President Xi is also excellent. I like him a lot.


I consider him a friend. He considers me a friend. With that being said, he represent China, I represent the United States. His views are different on things but they're pretty similar on trade. The problem we have with China, is that for decades they've been, you know, it's been very unfair, let me be very kind to previous administrations. It's been a very unfair trade situation. Our trade deficit is massive. It's hundreds of billions of dollars a year. Anywhere from $350 billion to $504 billion and that doesn't include intellectual property. And we've already started discussions with China because it has to come down, it has to come down.

And that has to do with really free trade, fair trade, or reciprocal trade. And frankly, I like reciprocal the best of the group because when you explain to somebody that you're going to charge tariffs in order to equalize or you're going to do other things some people, they don't get it and they don't like to hear that. But when you say it's going to be reciprocal, that we're going to charge the same as they're charging us the people that don't want a five percent or ten percent, they own reciprocal fair, and that could be a hundred percent.

So it's much more, Mark, understandable when you talk about reciprocal. And reciprocal trade is very important to me. We have many countries, not just China or Japan, or so many others that we see. We have one country that charges us a hundred percent tax if we sell things into their country.

And yet when they sell the same product into our country we charge them nothing. Now I've been against that for a long time. And you will be seeing, we do things about it. Now it also takes a period of time to do that because as you know you have statutory limitations in time.

You have to put out notices, you have to wait 90 days before you can put out the next. And then you have to wait another a hundred and twenty days and then a hundred--and then a thirty-day. Now, much of this has already been caught and caught up, some of it was unnecessary statutorily. But you will be seeing things of countries that have been trading the United States and the United States worker and companies.

Because I view the company as not as company, I view it as an extension of the worker. But that have been treating our companies, our country, and our workers very unfairly. You will be seeing that the United States will take very, very strong action.

It's already started but most of the legal foundation has now been done. And you're going to see very big difference and it's going to happen very soon because the United States, by many countries, has been treated very, very unfairly when it comes to trade. Thank you very much.

ABE(through translator): Regarding Japan, defense equipment, a lot of them, we purchase from the United States. The North Korea situation becoming very tough. The Asia Pacific security situation becoming very tough.

We qualitatively and quantitatively, we have to enhance our defense capabilities. And as the President mentioned, if 35A is a case in point, then 3 Block 2A is another plan for purchase from the United States. Aegis vessels, the quality, and the quantity must be enhanced in that process. We will be buying more from the United States. That is what I'm thinking.

Now, North Korea, North Korea launched their missiles immediately after that. We'd faced them. We were able to grasp and traced where they were going. Missile defense is something which is based upon the cooperation between Japan and the United State.

Missile defense system is a cooperation between the two countries. Four of the intercepting and shooting down, if aid is necessary, of course, we will do that. If it is necessary, but in doing so, U.S. and Japan will closely coordinate our actions.

Thank you very much. With this, we will end the joint press conference by the two leaders of Japan and the United States. Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen, of the press.

[01:35:04] TRUMP: It was (inaudible).

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And the U.S. President Donald Trump there. The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. After the joint news conference where there was a lot of mutual admiration, Mr. Abe saying the bonds between the two countries have never been closer.

He called Donald Trump his dear friend and President Trump, he might've said the relationship is extraordinary, never been such a close relationship between these two countries. I want to bring in Alexandre Field now in Tokyo to talk about this. So your thoughts on the headlines there, Alex. What are your takeaway from this?

I mean, there were a lot of questions on trade. Trade has been a major issue between these two countries, but not a lot of firm answers, really.


Not a lot of this is what we're going to do.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the talking points were largely what we would expect the talking points should be because you've seen both of these leaders alluding to this throughout the course of their two-day trip saying that discussions on trade, discussions on security would be the top priorities here. You did have them both coming out in really glowing and superlative terms talking about the relationship that they have cultivated not just the personal relationship that these two leaders share but also talking about a, sort of, shared vision, shared strategy, and suggesting over and over again from both sides that the relationship between these two allies has never in the history of the alliance been stronger. Let's take the point of North Korea because we knew that when President Trump began this trip through the region that this would be a top priority.

This would be the part of the trip that would be closely watched and that he would find his closest ally in terms of strategy right here in Japan. And certainly Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did reaffirm that, he said over and over again that Japan was with the United States 100 percent when it comes to the goals in terms of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and containing this threat that has continued to ratchet up over recent months. You heard the Prime Minister going even farther saying that Japan will take additional steps which include new sanctions on 35 different entities and individuals related to North Korea.

Certainly, that has been the push of the Trump Administration. Not just these U.N. Security Council resolutions which have meant some of the strongest -- well, the strongest sanctions ever against North Kora but also urging others who do business with -- individuals who do business with North Korean entities to sanction those. They are really trying to turn off the tap when it comes to the revenue and the resources that flow through that rouge regime which funds this nuclear program which is so rapidly accelerating.

As you did hear the Prime Minister saying over and over and over again that he stands closely with President Trump. To that end, he talked about something else that occurred. President Trump speak about it before which was the plan to sell more defense equipment to Japan.

That's been a top priority for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who has recently reelected with a strong majority. It is his position that Japan needs to up and increase its defense capabilities given the North Korean threat. You heard him talking just moments ago about the purchase of additional equipment and also potentially the purchase of additional missile interceptors.

This is something that has been an issue that is clearly raising concern for people here in Japan. They had two missiles flying over the northern part of Japan in just the last couple of months. So that's a top priority for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, also for many Japanese people.

And it's more evidence of these two leaders being [inaudible] to your other point, Michael, about trade, we did hear President Trump say over and over and over again that trade would be a top priority. As he makes his way through this five-nation visit of Asia he has spoken harshly about trade deals with Japan, has spoken about deficit, spoken about unfairness to United States. Talked about establishing more fair and reciprocal deal about the future.

According to President Trump, it's not something that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe contradicted, although in the past we had heard Prime Minister Shinzo Abe certainly articulate his support for multilateral deal, like the TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership which President Trump did pull up. So the two men saying publically today after they are continuing to work together to have more discussions about what a bilateral trade relationship will look like in the future, Michael.

HOLMES: Yes, no detail but plenty of ideas and as you say very much a mutual admiration society. And yes, Donald Trump saying that the Japanese would be able to shoot those missiles out of the sky once they had purchase massive amounts of military equipment from the United States. Alex, thanks very much, stand by there.

President Trump also talked about the shooting in Texas. Let's play that for a moment.


TRUMP: We have a lot of mental health problems in our country as do other countries.

[01:40:04] But this isn't a guns situation. I mean, we can go into it but it's a little bit soon to go into it. But fortunately somebody else had a gun that were shooting in the opposite direction, otherwise, it would have been as bad it was. It would have been much worst.

But this is a mental health problem at the highest level. It's a very, very sad event. It's a--these are great people and a very, very sad event. But that's the way I view it.


HOLMES: And CNN's Jim Acosta was at that news conference, joins us now on the phone from Tokyo. Jim, first of all, let's talk on that comment from Texas. We heard a very similar comment after the massacre in Las Vegas where he said that the shooter had his wires crossed or something.

He says in this massacre, he said, "This isn't a gun situation. This is a deranged person, a mental health problem at the highest level." What do you make of that?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (via phone): Well, Michael, this is--this is the President really going back to his position. It always seems to be the position that he has after one of these mass shooting events and that is -- but now is not the time to talk about gun control. He even made that comment when asked about this here at this news conference with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The other thing that I thought was notable in reference to the Texas mass shooting, Michael, is when the President said, you know, "Who could think such a thing could happen?" Almost immediately after the President said that, you can see sort of the response on social media asking the question in the comment.

Well, you know, of course, you could see something like this happening again in the United States. These mass shootings tend to happen a lot. They're happening with more frequency as you've seen them just the last month or so. We had two of the deadliest mass shootings in American history happened almost back to back.

Las Vegas, and now what's happened in Texas with this mass shooting at the church. And so the President really just trying not to deal with what issue of gun control, trying to say, as you do hear, from gun rights, busiest rights orders that this is really more of a mental health issue. It isn't a gun's issue. And I could see --

HOLMES: All right. I'm losing the line there with Jim Acosta, but we got the -- we got that -- most of that. And Jim, thanks so much. We're going to take a short break, we're going to discuss what came out of this news conference, what perhaps did not come out of this news conference when we come back.



ABE (through translator): Now is the time not for dialogue but for applying maximum level of pressure on North Korea. We completely agreed that in order to make North Korea change their policy, Japan and U.S. must take leadership in closely collaborating with the international community so that we can enhance the pressure to the maximum level over North Korea through all possible means


HOLMES: Shinzo Abe speaking there on just a few minutes ago. Let's bring our experts back in. CNN Contributor Jean Lee joining us now from Seoul, South Korea. In Los Angeles, political Analyst, Michael Genovese. And U.S. Army Major General Mark MacCarley. Thanks to you all.

Jean, let's start with you. Your thoughts on what -- I mean, the thing that struck me, you don't always get a lot of detail out the -- his news conferences. And I don't think we got much out of that one. Certainly, when it came to trade, we basically got the sense that they like each other very much and we'll figure it out. What did you think?

JEAN LEE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, the bromance has certainly deepened. It's going to be very hard for the South Korean president to match that. Now there are a couple of things. I am reassured that he didn't use the phrase little rocket man and that there were no threats to destroy North Korea.

And also that he recognized that the people of North Korea are the ones whose lives are really at stake in all of this. So that should be reassuring to the people of South Korea as well who have been concerned that the President's strategy does not take into account what's best for the South Korean people.

HOLMES: And Mark MacCarley, let's ask here the military man. Yes, you know, he was asked -- the President was specifically asked a question by a Japanese reporter about, you know, what would it take for military action to happen, he actually did not answer that. I don't -- I don't know if that's reassuring or not.

He did point out that the Japanese Prime Minister would be able to shoot down North Korean ballistic missiles after they had bought a massive amount of U.S. military equipment. Your read on that side of things, the North Korean situation?

MARK MACCARLEY, MAJOR GENERAL, U.S. ARMY: Well, first of all, I want to go and decipher for just a second the mutual statements of both of those leaders, both Abe and Trump. And once you get past the diplomatic eloquence and the mutual commendations. If you're looking at it from an international strategic perspective the only thing that was in common which has value to this conversation is a statement on both their parts that we have moved beyond what has been called since the 1990s with the Clinton Administration in '92, first really confronted with the issue of potential nuclearization of North Korea.

This concept of strategic patience. So both have said in their own words, no longer, delay is not something we're going to tolerate. We're going to take action. Now what meant, Abe moved a bit to a definition that went this way.

Pressure on North Korea to the maximum extent using all types of power. Whether it's economic, military, or the other rendition of power. That said, I think both were appropriately cautious about coming forward and defining the next step especially if that next step incorporates the use of military power which I think almost everybody says is not the appropriate first step.

[01:50:01] HOLMES: Yes.


HOLMES: Yes. No, no, no, exactly. The Donald Trump saying that, "Some people said my rhetoric is very strong but look at what happened with weak rhetoric in the last 25 years. Look where are now." And the Japanese Prime Minister saying there's no point in dialogue for the sake of dialogue, time to apply, as you pointed out, maximum pressure on North Korea.

Michael Genovese, when it comes to the political aspect of this, where do we end up after the -- this news conference? I mean, nothing very hard came out of it other than the bromance. And then what -- and that really was extraordinary, that thing -- what they said about each other and their bonds and how they get along. What was your takeaway?

MICHAEL GENOVESE, POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, don't underestimate the power of personal relations. Donald Trump's relationship with leaders, quite often they don't know him, he doesn't know them, so he has to build them and build many of them from scratch. But you'll recall when George H.W. Bush was in power, he used be joking referred to as the Rolodex president because he had Rolodex and he knew everyone.

That was usually important in the first call fort and it can be usually important for President Trump because personal relationships buy trust, they may buy a little bit of time. They may buy the things that you value in a crisis.

HOLMES: And do you -- did you think that we've learned anything about the trade issue, Michael? I mean, did we -- did we -- did we go anywhere with that? I mean, they're all in different pages when it comes to trade. I mean, Mr. Abe big fan of TPP. Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of TPP.

Talks about very unfair trade imbalances. Are they going to figure this out?

GENOVESE: Friends often agree to disagree, sometimes publicly but in this case, privately. They do not get along on this issue. They're not going to. And so I think some things you just brush under the carpet, you say, well, we'll deal with those in another way, in another time.

This is a time for love and this is a time for celebration of our mutual relationship.

HOLMES: Jean Lee, Michael Genovese, Mark MacCarley, thanks very much to all of you. We will talk again, no doubt. Appreciate you sticking around.

GENOVESE: Thank you.

HOLMES: And just moments ago, the U.S. President Donald Trump, and we were discussing this as well with Jim Acosta, had something to say about the Texas shooter. Lest listen.


TRUMP: We have a lot of mental health problems in our country as do other countries. But this isn't a guns situation. I mean, we can go into it but it's a little bit soon to go into it. But fortunately somebody else had a gun that were shooting in the opposite direction, otherwise, it would have been as bad it was.


HOLMES: All right. Let's bring in Juliette Kayyem, CNN National Security Analyst, former assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Juliette, your take on that? I mean, as we were saying -- I was chatting with Jim Acosta a little bit earlier, it sort of smacks of what we've heard of, you know, 58 people were killed and 500 were shot in Las Vegas, that it's too soon to talk about guns and that mental health is the reason.

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Right. So -- it's just -- your mental health doesn't kill people, right? Guns do. And I think the President is right in the sense that other countries do have mental health issues, but why we see so much violence because of this mental health issues, is because of the weaponry.

Because of guns. And that's why we see so many people killed in such a short periods of time like in Las Vegas or today in Texas. So, you know, two comments to what president trump said. First of all, very similar, of course, to Las Vegas regarding, we're not going to talk about guns. That's not the policy issue.

And then immediately putting it on the, sort of, defendant's or the, you know, suspect's now dead, mental state. That that is really the cause of it. Instead of looking at the, sort of, you know, the issues around guns and gun regulations. In some ways, it's a very defeatist attitude.

That it just assumed there's crazy people, they will get guns and therefore innocent civilians will die, there's not -- there's essentially nothing you can do to stop that process. So that's where the debate is going to reside. HOLMES: And then -- and, you know, with that -- to put through a fine -- a point on it, we've only got a couple of minutes left, but I wanted to ask you, after the terror attack in New York, policy pronouncements came out pretty quickly, whether it was on the extreme vetting with -- on ending the visa lottery program. But both after Las Vegas and after this, it's not the time to talk policy.

KAYYEM: That's right. And that -- and that sort of irony, if you want to call it, or that hypocrisy, right, is often the case where if it's an American without ties to any international ties who uses, you know, a weapon that they easily can access in this country and then goes after innocent civilians, that's mental health.

[01:55:06] Whereas if it's someone who may have tangential ties to, say, ISIS, uses a car, that's terrorism and therefore we can deal with that. When in fact the -- in the end, right, it's about America's vulnerability. It's a Homeland Security issue. What -- how are citizens vulnerable? I'm not saying don't deal with the terrorist threat, but if you are going to have policy changes for the terrorist threat, you also have to have it for the kinds of threats that are killing more Americans than any ISIS attack ever has in the United State. Even including Orlando.

You look at these numbers and you think, what is making Americans vulnerable? What is killing Americans? It's not ISIS. It is actually, you know, the combination mental health issues with easy access to guns.

And until we start to see it -- see this as a safety and security issue, rather than a mental health issue, we'll never get to the -- to the core of this which is accessibility to weapons that kill a lot of people in a very short period of time. Look, a mental health person -- a person with mental health issues with a knife is, you know, is a scenario I would much rather take as a security expert than one with a gun.

HOLMES: Right. Juliette, got to leave it there. Appreciate your expertise as always. Juliette Kayyem, thanks so much. And thanks, everyone, for watching our special coverage. I'm Michael Holmes, do stay with CNN. We'll have more on Donald Trump's trip to Japan and that news conference, also the Texas shooting after a quick break.