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Japan, US agree dialogue for its own sake with N. Korea meaningless

US President Dpnald Trump (left, AP) and Japanese Priime Minister Shinzo Abe (Mainichi)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed Wednesday that dialogue with North Korea would be "meaningless if it's for the sake of dialogue."

    The two leaders were in accord on the "importance for the international community to continue to put maximum pressure on North Korea," a senior Japanese government official told reporters following the leaders' telephone talks.

    Abe said he and Trump reaffirmed that they will "work closely together" on the threat from North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile development programs.

    The Japanese leader also expressed his condolences following the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

    "I told President Trump that in these difficult times for the United States, the Japanese people and I are with him and the American people 100 percent," Abe told reporters.

    According to the official, Abe told Trump of his shock and anger at the shooting on Sunday, in which at least 59 people were killed and more than 500 others injured.

    Trump thanked Abe for his expression of sympathy for the victims and their families and described the Japanese leader as a true friend, the official said.

    Abe and Trump also remarked they are looking forward to the latter's visit to Japan early next month during his tour of several Asian countries, the official said.

    According to the official, the roughly 12-minute talks took place while Trump was aboard Air Force One.

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