Trump launches Asia trip with a warning to North Korea

Trump launches Asia trip with a warning to North Korea

Trump launches Asia trip with a warning to North Korea

"Japan is a treasured partner and crucial ally of the United States and today we thank them for welcoming us and for decades of wonderful friendship between our two nations", Trump told American and Japanese service members at Yokota Air Base on the outskirts of Tokyo. The two leaders, who have struck up an unlikely but easy rapport, shared a casual lunch and played nine holes at the Kasumigaseki Country Club, joined by professional golfer Hideki Matsuyama.

Asked whether he was anxious that North Korea's Kim Jong Un would use the president's visit to the region to demonstrate another missile test, Trump said: "We'll soon find out".

Aerial drills conducted over South Korea by two USA strategic bombers have raised tensions in recent days.

Since taking office, though, Trump has bonded with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The two men also met on the sidelines of an worldwide summit in Italy this spring and Trump hosted Abe in Florida.

Mr. Trump will also have a state call with the Imperial Family at Akasaka Palace during his visit. "And, again - Putin is very important because they can help us with North Korea".

North Korea is the critical issue looming over Mr Trump's 12-day, five-country trip that will include direct talks with Mr Trump's Chinese and Russian counterparts.

Trump will visit Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines between November 5 and November 14. Mr. Trump extended the trip by a day on Friday when he agreed to participate in a summit of East Asian nations in Manila.

His trip got off to a colorful start in Hawaii. He was taken by boat out to the USS Arizona Memorial, where lies the Second World War ship that was sunk by the Japanese during the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941.

"I hope we will be able to have thorough discussions about worldwide issues, including North Korea", Abe told a press conference shortly ahead of Trump's arrival.

"For nearly 60 years, the military alliance we see on this base has endured a cornerstone of sovereignty, security and prosperity for our nations, this region and indeed, the entire world", Trump told the audience.

North Korea has acknowledged apprehending 13 Japanese in the 1970s and 1980s, but claims all those captives have died or been released.

"I think it's expected we'll meet with Putin, yeah. There is a lot of good will".

Like their predecessors, today's service members are courageous warriors who are the last bulwark against threats to the dreams of people in America, Japan and across the world, Trump said.

The North's state-run KCNA news agency said in a commentary that the US should be disabused of the "absurd idea" that Pyongyang would succumb to global sanctions and give up its nuclear weapons, adding that it is in "the final stage for completing nuclear deterrence".

"We may have a meeting with Putin", he said.

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