Rus­sia and North Korea to chal­lenge Trump over­seas


WAR­SAW, POLAND — Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump opens his two-na­tion Euro­pean visit with what he ex­pects to be a short but warm stop in Poland be­fore he en­coun­ters what could be a frostier re­cep­tion and thornier is­sues at an in­ter­na­tional sum­mit in Ger­many.

Trump’s sit-down with Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s first launch of an in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile threaten to put Trump’s skills as a ne­go­tia­tor to the test.

Trump ar­rived in War­saw late Wed­nes­day for a 16-hour visit that in­cludes a key­note ad­dress to the Poles from Krasin­ski Square, site of a mon­u­ment com­mem­o­rat­ing the 1944 War­saw Upris­ing against the Nazis.

Scores of peo­ple who lined dark­ened roads waved Amer­i­can and Pol­ish flags and recorded video of Trump’s mo­tor­cade as it sped him and his wife, Me­la­nia, to their ho­tel.

Trump has sched­uled talks with the lead­ers of Poland and Croa­tia and may hold a joint news con­fer­ence — his first one abroad — with Pol­ish Pres­i­dent An­drzej Duda.

He also was meet­ing with the heads of a dozen coun­tries bor­dered by the Baltic, Adri­atic and Black seas.

Col­lec­tively known as the Three Seas Ini­tia­tive, the group aims to ex­pand and mod­ern­ize en­ergy and trade with a goal of re­duc­ing the re­gion’s de­pen­dence on Rus­sian en­ergy.

Duda told Pol­ish broad­caster TVN24 on Wed­nes­day that he wants to tackle con­crete is­sues like en­ergy se­cu­rity in the meet­ing with Trump, not en­gage in “some gen­eral talk about world se­cu­rity.” Trump re­cently de­voted a week to U.S. en­ergy pro­duc­tion.

At the same time, Trump will have to con­tend with es­ca­lat­ing ten­sions with North Korea af­ter it suc­cess­fully launched its first in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile this week.

Asked, as he left the White House, what he would do about North Korea, Trump said only: “We’re go­ing to do very well.”

Trump, who’s been seek­ing China’s help in con­tain­ing Py­ongyang’s mis­sile and nu­clear weapons pro­grams, also tweeted his frus­tra­tion with China for con­tin­u­ing to trade with North Korea.

“So much for China work­ing with us — but we had to give it a try!” Trump wrote.

Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping is among at least nine lead­ers Trump is sched­uled to meet with later in the week in Ger­many dur­ing the Group of 20 sum­mit of the world’s lead­ing rich and de­vel­op­ing coun­tries.

Trump will also walk a fine line when he meets Fri­day with Putin.

The highly an­tic­i­pated sit-down comes when re­la­tions be­tween the two na­tions are at a low point, and with the pres­i­dent show­ing re­luc­tance to adopt a harder line to­ward Rus­sia amid con­clu­sions by mul­ti­ple U.S. in­tel­li­gence agen­cies that Moscow med­dled in the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion to ben­e­fit Trump, and con­tin­u­ing fed­eral and con­gres­sional in­ves­ti­ga­tions into pos­si­ble col­lu­sion be­tween Trump cam­paign as­so­ciates and Rus­sian gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials.

Trump’s re­turn to Europe fol­lows a shaky in­au­gu­ral visit in late May and signs of un­hap­pi­ness around the globe with his pres­i­dency.

A re­cent Pew Re­search Cen­ter sur­vey of at­ti­tudes to­ward Trump in more than three dozen coun­tries found fewer than three in 10 re­spon­dents ex­press­ing con­fi­dence in his abil­ity to do the right thing on in­ter­na­tional af­fairs.


Pro­test­ers dressed like zom­bies at­tend an arts per­for­mance demon­stra­tion prior the G20 sum­mit in Ham­burg, north­ern Ger­many. The sum­mit takes place July 7-8.

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