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U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shake hands during a bilateral meeting at the G7 summit in Taormina, Sicily, Italy, May 26, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

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TAORMINA, Italy (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that North Korea was a "big problem", but assured Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that issues surrounding the secretive Asian state would be resolved.

"It is very much on our minds... It's a big problem, it's a world problem and it will be solved. At some point it will be solved. You can bet on that," Trump said sitting alongside Abe in a bilateral meeting ahead of a Group of Seven summit.

North Korea's growing nuclear and missile threat is seen as a major security challenge for Trump, who has vowed to prevent the country from being able to hit the United States with a nuclear missile, a capability experts say Pyongyang could have some time after 2020.

(This story corrects spelling in headline)

(Reporting by Steve Holland; Writing by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Noah Barkin)

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