Trump promises major announcement on his return to Washington

Sergio Conner
November 14, 2017

In South Korea's National Assembly, Trump offered a nuclear ultimatum of sorts to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, who has been taunting his neighbors and the testing missiles in waters off Japan and not far from US overseas territories. And Trump flashed a thumbs-up as he shook hands with Cambodia's authoritarian prime minister, Hun Sen, who praised the US president as a kindred spirit for telling countries to put their own interests first. "I am always going to put America first".

But people in foreign countries likewise use American dollars to buy things from other countries, and invest in other countries, and some of that money winds its way back to the United States, too.

In the latter he met with president Rodrigo Duterte, who has been accused of widespread human rights abuses.

Trump, who shared no other details, has toured Japan, China, South Korea, Vietnam and the Philippines over the last 14 days. For Trump it appears that the only free trade he wants is ability to plant Trump Towers everywhere from Riyadh to Bali to Manila via Moscow.

In marking his first anniversary, Trump has pleasantly surprised many who a year ago were deeply anxious about a trade war between the two countries given his harsh campaign rhetoric. Plans were announced for the visit of a USA aircraft carrier to Vietnam in 2018, the first such call since the war.

Instead, the President started talking about a deal and the possibility of Kim "someday" becoming his friend. "Why would anyone sign up for that?"

Trump said the U.S. also remained deeply concerned about the use of chemical weapons by state and non-state actors.

Trump said the US will more closely scrutinize trade pacts. Missing was any agreement on market access or reduction in technology-sharing agreements that American businesses have long complained about. And weapons sales, in Trump's view, are good for his approval ratings.

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In a bid to counter the U.S. program, Chinese supreme leader Xi Jinping followed Trump's visit with a formal state visit of his own. Seen alongside are U.S. National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster (L) and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (R). But, he emphasized, his administration will refuse to allow us to be taken advantage of us in trade pacts. In Beijing, he embraced the Chinese leader unlike any US president going back to Richard M. Nixon. Xi used the opportunity of the joint press conference with Trump to elaborate on China's positions on issues on the agenda with the US. "What regional countries wanted was for him to simply show up - to underscore that America remained at least notionally committed to Asia", said Shahriman Lockman, a senior analyst at the Institute of Strategic & International Studies in Malaysia.

The tour was calculated to project American power after eight years of pathetic servility, weakness, and apology tours by President Obama, and, of course, to bolster Trump's standing as a world leader, among other things.

TRUMP: People don't realize Russian Federation has been very, very heavily sanctioned. "There was only a rather lengthy discussion of the Philippine war on drugs with President Duterte doing most of the explaining", he said. One measure of the Asian trip's success, he said, was the "red carpet, like I think probably nobody has ever received". In Japan, President Trump made a strong commitment to work together against the North Korean regime. And he cast Xi as a popular leader who could solve the nuclear crisis with North Korea. Do not underestimate us.

Trump said that the fake narrative that he colluded with Russian Federation in winning the elections, was making it hard to improve relations with Russian Federation.

On this trip, Trump attempted to spur Xi on to greater effort. And then he tacked back toward diplomacy. They were sanctioned at a very high level.

US President Donald Trump said Monday he will make a statement on North Korea and trade issues following his return to Washington from Asia this week.

Despite the threat of military force, North Korea has not engaged in talks on its nuclear program.

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