HASH(0xb4aefc)

HASH(0xb4aefc)

Australian leader says North Korea will dominate Trump talks

Australian leader says North Korea will dominate Trump talks

CANBERRA, Australia — Australia’s prime minister said Wednesday that he and U.S. President Donald Trump will engage as two seasoned businessmen-turned-politicians when they meet for the first time, focusing on North Korea, security and economic issues.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was speaking hours before he departed Sydney for New York, where he will meet Trump on Thursday, more than three months after the two had a heated telephone conversation over a refugee deal.

“We’ll talk about the wide range of security and economic issues, but top of the list obviously at the moment is North Korea,” Turnbull told Seven Network television.

Turnbull described media reports of his Jan. 28 telephone conversation with Trump, in which the president reluctantly agreed to honour an agreement with President Barack Obama’s administration to take up to 1,250 refugees off Australia’s hands, as “very exaggerated.” He has previously denied media reports that Trump hung up on him, but has provided few details of the conversation.

“The president and I had a frank, forthright and courteous call. We are both people with a long background in business and I think — I’ve got no doubt — that we’ll get on fine,” Turnbull told Sydney Radio WSFM.

Turnbull, Australia’s wealthiest lawmaker and a former Goldman Sachs partner with an estimated fortune exceeding $150 million, will highlight the U.S.-Australian defence alliance by standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Trump at a ceremony marking the 75 anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea.

U.S. and Australian warships and fighter planes fought the Japanese from May 4-8, 1942, with the Japanese navy being forced back for the first time in World War II.

Michael Fullilove, executive director of the Lowy Institute, a Sydney-based foreign policy think-tank , will attend the ceremony aboard the decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Intrepid. Fullilove said it was important that Turnbull “establish a working, personal relationship with Mr. Trump.”

“The first phone call was really disastrous, in a way,” Fullilove told Australian Broadcasting Corp. from New York.

Turnbull will need to strike a balance because Trump is unpopular in Australia, Fullilove said. The Lowy Institute commissioned an opinion poll last year that found 77 per cent of Australian respondents wanted Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton to become president, and only 11 per cent preferred Trump.

The phone survey of 1,002 Australian adults was conducted on June 1-9 and had a 3.1 per cent margin of error.

“The Australian public want to know the Australian prime minister has the ear of the president,” Fullilove said. “You pull off a successful meeting, but at the same time, you’re not trying to pretend that you’re chummier than you really are.”

Under the Obama-era refugee resettlement agreement, the U.S. will take up to 1,250 refugees — mostly Muslims from Africa, the Middle East and Asia — that Australia houses in immigration camps on the Pacific island nations of Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

Trump, who campaigned on tough-on-immigration policies, was enraged by the agreement, prompting a tense phone call with Turnbull and an angry tweet in which the president dubbed the deal “dumb.”

Turnbull told the president: “I’m a businessman, you’re a businessman. A deal is a deal,” Australian officials said at the time.

Rod McGuirk, The Associated Press

Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cumberland is demanding a major clean-up at a Derwent Avenue property. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cumberland orders massive clean-up at downtown house

Uninsured vehicles, illegal structures have been subject of multiple complaints

Andrea Cupelli of the Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness told council the coalition’s needs assessment for non-market housing continues to grow throughout the region, as well as within Comox. . File photo
Coalition to end homelessness asking for additional funding from Comox

The coalition’s needs assessment for non-market housing continues to grow

Work on the first phase of renovations at the Village of Cumberland office is nearing completion. Record file photo
Cumberland office close to re-opening after reno

First phase with COVID measures should be done this month

Cumberland has long gone its own way when it comes to parks. Record file photo
Cumberland hesitant about regional park service

Community was left out of area park plan back fifty years ago

Comox town hall. Black Press file photo
Comox looking at proposed CVRD parks service; councillor seeks to include UNDRIP in framework

Coun. Stephanie McGowan proposed a motion to bring UNDRIP to the town’s framework

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Most Read