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Malaysia criticizes US trade policy, hopeful of NKorea move

June 11, 2018
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Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad delivers a speech during the International Conference on "The Future of Asia" in Tokyo Monday, June 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)

TOKYO (AP) — Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has said he supports free trade but small countries like his should unite in a broad group to deal with challenges especially as America is turning protectionist.

Speaking Monday at a Tokyo conference, Mahathir called for a free trade group that allows smaller and developing countries to not fall behind powerful countries.

The 92-year-old leader also urged other countries not to be cynical about North Korea’s recent overtures toward denuclearization. He said Pyongyang’s effort to improve its ties with the U.S. and abandon nuclear weapons would also help ease tension in Southeast Asia.

A historic U.S.-North Korea summit is set for Tuesday in Singapore.

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