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Trump says Japan's Abe nominated him for Nobel Peace Prize

[TOKYO] Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told US President Donald Trump he had nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with North Korea, according to remarks from Mr Trump on Friday.

In a speech on border security in the Rose Garden on Friday, Mr Trump said Mr Abe had shown him a copy of a five-page letter he sent to "the people who give out a thing called the Nobel Prize." The president was responding to a question on progress made since last year's historic summit with North Korea.

"He said, ‘I have nominated you...' or ‘Respectfully, on behalf of Japan, I am asking them to give you the Nobel Peace Prize,'" Mr Trump said, according to a White House transcript.

The US president didn't elaborate on when Mr Abe sent the letter or showed him the copy. He said Mr Abe sent the nomination because Japan now feels "good" and "safe" after North Korean ballistic missile launches ceased. The Japanese Defense Ministry's annual white paper released in August described North Korea as still posing a "grave and imminent" threat to the country.

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Calls to Mr Abe's office and Japan's Foreign Ministry by Bloomberg News went unanswered on Saturday, outside business hours.

Mr Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are set to hold a second summit on February 27-28 in Hanoi.