Trump goes on 12-day long Asian tour with focus on N. Korea


US, China to lay out future ties map

President Donald Trump has embarked on a 12-day trip to Asia, the longest tour of the continent by any US president in 25 years and one that will be shadowed by fears of another international conflict.
On the first stop of his five-nation tour, Trump will depart for Japan on Saturday looking to present a united front with Japanese leaders against North Korea.
The US president will address US and Japanese forces at Yokota air base shortly after arriving in Japan on Sunday. Trump will play a round of golf with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and have a state call with the Imperial Family at Akasaka Palace during his visit.
Tensions have been building on the Korean Peninsula following a series of nuclear and missile tests by Pyongyang as well as threats of war and personal insults traded between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Joint US military exercises with forces from South Korea and Japan have been a constant cause of tensions in the region. World leaders have called for restraint by all sides to the conflict.
Two US strategic bombers have carried out aerial drills over South Korea in recent days, further angering North Korea.
Besides Japan, Trump will visit South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. Before kicking off his inaugural tour, Trump flew o the US state of Hawaii on Friday and paid a solemn visit to the memorial at Pearl Harbor, the scene of the 1941 Japanese attack that plunged the United States into World War II.
Trump saluted after entering the USS Arizona, throwing white flower petals into the waters above the battleship’s sunken hull.
From Hawaii, Trump and his wife Melania Trump will head to Japan and then on to South Korea. Officials said earlier this week that the US president would not visit the heavily fortified demilitarized zone (DMZ) on the border between the South and North.
Trump’s Asia tour will be dominated by trade and how to muster more pressure on Pyongyang over its missile and nuclear programs.
“We’ll be talking about trade,” Trump told reporters Friday before leaving for Hawaii. “We’ll be talking about obviously North Korea. We’ll be enlisting the help of a lot of people and countries and we’ll see what happens. But I think we’re going to have a very successful trip.”
Some US allies have expressed concerns about Trump’s fiery rhetoric on North Korea, including his vow to “totally destroy” North Korea if it threatens the United States.
PressTV-US warns of ‘massive military response’ to N Korea Secretary of Defense James Mattis warns of a “massive military response” to any use of nuclear weapons by North Korea.
Some Trump’s advisers have warned him that US military options are limited at best, saying Pyongyang could launch an artillery barrage on Seoul, which is only about 50 kilometers from the border.
The CIA has estimated that North Korea could be only months away from developing the ability to strike the United States with nuclear weapons.
After meeting with leaders of Japan and South Korea, Trump will visit China to press President Xi Jinping to do more to rein in Pyongyang.
In Beijing: Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang said Friday that the meeting between Chinese and U.S. presidents in Beijing next week is expected to map out a blueprint for the development of bilateral ties in a new era.
China and the United States are working to ensure U.S. President Donald Trump’s state visit a success, Zheng said at a press briefing.
Trump, who will visit China from Nov. 8 to 10, will be the first head of state to visit China since the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. Apart from formal activities commensurate with a state visit, “informal interactions” will be arranged for the presidents of the two countries, Zheng told a press briefing.
Using this opportunity, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Trump will have strategic communication on significant issues of common concern to build new consensus, enhance mutual understanding and friendship, and promote bilateral relations in all spheres, Zheng said.
The core of Sino-U.S. economic and trade is mutual benefit. Solving the trade imbalance between China and the United States requires expanding U.S. exports to China and increasing two-way investment, rather than restricting imports from China, he said.
Zheng said that a trade war would harm both countries, noting that the two economies are highly complementary and have great potential for cooperation.
China has always worked for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and for peace and stability on the peninsula, said Zheng, adding that the issue should be settled through dialogue and consultation.
China always strictly implements UN security council resolutions. At present, all parties should refrain from action that may escalate tensions and work to bring the issue back to the negotiating table, he said.—Agencies

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