WASHINGTON – President Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Saturday discussed ways to pressure North Korea to abandon its reconstituted nuclear weapons program.
The two leaders shared a 15-minute telephone call, in which Bush also told Koizumi he hoped for a "full and speedy recovery" for Japan's Emperor Akihito, said Ken Lisaius, a White House spokesman.
Akihito had prostate surgery Saturday in which doctors discovered no signs the cancer had spread.
Secretary of State Colin Powell said Saturday in Switzerland that a diplomatic solution to North's Korea's nuclear weapons ambitions can be reached and that Russia, China and Japan all are eager for the United States to resume direct talks. "I believe that will happen eventually," Powell said.
Bush and Koizumi also discussed Iraq, under a U.N. mandate to declare and get rid of any weapons of mass destruction it possesses. Bush has threatened military action if Iraq does not comply.
The pair agreed to continue to consult on both situations, said Lisaius, who provided no other details about the conversation.