U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a five-page letter to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to denuclearize North Korea.
“Prime Minister Abe of Japan gave me the most beautiful copy of a letter that he sent to the people who give out a thing called the Nobel [Peace] Prize,” President Trump told reporters in the Rose Garden on Friday. “He said, ‘I have nominated you … respectfully on behalf of Japan. I am asking them to give you the Nobel Peace Prize.'”
Earlier, Prime Minister Abe had publicly praised President Trump for his role in addressing the North Korean nuclear threat.
“The situation surrounding North Korea, due to the decisive decision by President Trump on the first-ever U.S.-North Korea summit, is at a historical turning point,” Abe said during a bilateral summit at Mar-a-Lago last March.
With wide-ranging pressure on Pyongyang, President Trump pushed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to join in a summit in Singapore last June and Kim agreed to denuclearize “by end of Trump’s first term.”
“As part of a bold new diplomacy, we continue our historic push for peace on the Korean Peninsula. Our hostages have come home, nuclear testing has stopped, and there has not been a missile launch in more than 15 months,” President Trump said in his 2019 State of the Union address.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in endorses a Nobel Peace Prize for President Trump. “President Trump should win the Nobel Peace Prize. What we need is only peace,” said Moon in April 2018, according to the South Korean presidential office.
A month later, a group of 18 House lawmakers sent a letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee to nominate President Trump to receive the award. “Since taking office, President Trump has worked tirelessly to apply maximum pressure on North Korea to end its illicit weapons programs and bring peace to the region,” said the letter from Rep. Luke Messer and 17 other Republican House members.
Former President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize a few months into his presidency, “an award many thought was premature, given that he had little to show for his peace efforts beyond rhetoric,” according to Reuters.
President Trump mentioned the case of his predecessor in the speech from the Rose Garden Friday. “They gave it to Obama. He didn’t even know what he got it for. He was there for about 15 seconds and he got the Nobel Prize. He said, ‘Oh, what did I get it for?’”, said President Trump. “With me, I probably will never get it.”
President Trump is to meet with Kim Jong Un in a second summit in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam at the end of this month.
…Time will tell what will happen with North Korea, but at the end of the previous administration, relationship was horrendous and very bad things were about to happen. Now a whole different story. I look forward to seeing Kim Jong Un shortly. Progress being made-big difference!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 30, 2019