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'He will shoot them out of the sky': Trump urges Japan to buy U.S. technology to stop North Korean missiles

 (Kiyoshi Ota / Associated Press)
(Kiyoshi Ota / Associated Press)

President Trump called Monday for Japan to buy U.S. anti-missile batteries to counter the growing ballistic missile threat from North Korea, saying buying more U.S. military equipment would create more jobs for Americans and increase security for Japan.

"He will shoot them out of the sky when he completes the purchase of a lot of military equipment from the United States," Trump said during a news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Trump also called on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to return the Japanese citizens Pyongyang has abducted, saying doing so would be "a tremendous signal" and the "start of something very special."

During the news conference that followed meetings, lunch and the feeding of fish in a koi pond together, Trump pointedly teased his friend Abe over the trade deficit between the two countries, and seemed to advocate a military buildup as a way to close the gap.

The Japanese government already buys a lot of U.S. military hardware, Abe replied, but agreed that the country should "enhance our defense capability."

"Missile defense is something based on cooperation between Japan and the U.S.," Abe said. "If it is necessary" to shoot down a missile, he said, "of course we will do that."

North Korea provocatively fired a ballistic missile over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido in September, and U.S. and Japanese military officials are concerned that North Korea may launch a similar provocation during Trump's tour of Asia.

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