Trump trip to focus on N. Korea
He’ ll visit 5 nations in Asia and attend two summits in November
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump plans to travel to Asia in November for the longest overseas journey of his presidency to date as he seeks to build a common front against North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, the White House said Friday.
Trump will travel to five Asian nations Nov. 3-14, including three critical to the crisis over North Korea — Japan, South Korea and China. He will also stop in the Philippines, whose authoritarian leader, President Rodrigo Duterte, Trump has praised for his antidrug campaign despite extrajudicial killings, and in Vietnam, which is still smarting over his decision to abandon a freetrade pact.
“President Trump will discuss the importance of a free and open Indo-Pacific region to America’s prosperity and security,” the administration said in a statement. “He will also emphasize the importance of fair and reciprocal economic ties with America’s trade partners. The president’s engagements will strengthen the international resolve to confront the North Korean threat and ensure the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
Presidents typically travel to the Pacific region in the late fall because of two international summit meetings held by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, both of which Trump will attend. But the 12-day trip may tax a president who does not particularly relish overseas travel and who thought a weeklong trip earlier in the year was too long.