Melania Trump takes Japan's first lady to historic mansion

Screenshot  CNN

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump walk with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and wife Akie Abe as they arrive for dinner at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida on April 17, 2018.

President Donald Trump says CIA Director Mike Pompeo recently had a "great meeting" in North Korea with leader Kim Jong Un.

As Trump stopped to make brief remarks to a reporter, confusion ensued when the president appeared to suggest, in response to a shouted question, that he had spoken directly with North Korea's non-tie-wearing dictator, Kim Jong Un.

Trump and Kim have not yet spoken directly, the White House said, but the president revealed Tuesday that there had been contact at "very high levels" to prepare for the historic meeting - an apparent reference to Pompeo´s visit.

President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday that the meeting took place "last week" and "went smoothly", as preparations are underway for what would be a historic meeting between the USA and North Korean leaders. Talks on Wednesday focused on trade, including the possibility of exempting Japan from new U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Trump said on Twitter.

Trump voiced hope that North and South Korea, technically still at war, can pave the way to a lasting peace at a series of upcoming summits.

More news: U.S. lowers NAFTA key auto content demand: Mexico auto lobby

Trump said five locations for the summit are under consideration, but he would not list them.

And Trump tweeted on Friday that Japan "has hit us hard on trade for years". Trump pulled out of talks just three days into his presidency.

Trump took credit for the inter-Korean talks, saying, "Without us and without me, in particular, I guess you would have to say, they wouldn't be discussing anything". Trump greeted Abe at the red-carpeted door of the mansion as the pair posed for photos ahead of a one-on-one meeting and a group discussion with national security officials about the Kim summit.

Designer to many past first ladies, Carolina Herrera is known for formerly employing Hervé Pierre, who now serves as Melania's personal couturier. Trump is huddling with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at his private Florida club this week to assuage Japanese concerns about the meeting.

Follow along for live updates of the Trump-Abe press conference.

Trump thanked Chinese President Xi Jinping for maintaining tight control of the border between China and North Korea. Japan has demanded further investigation.

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