United States President Donald Trump will use his visit to Japan and South Korea next month to “call on the international community to collaborate to maximise pressure on North Korea”, the White House said on Monday. Trump will also visit China, Vietnam and the Philippines during his 10-day tour of the continent starting November 5.
When he is in Japan, the US president will meet families of Japanese citizens who have allegedly been abducted by the North Korean regime. He will speak at the National Assembly of South Korea, where he will urge the international community to cooperate on addressing hostilities with North Korea.
“The president’s travel will underscore his commitment to longstanding United States alliances and partnerships, and reaffirm United States leadership in promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific region,” the White House said. Trump will also participate in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Vietnam and the 50th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in the Philippines.
Relations between North Korea and the US have been strained for several months, with the leaders of both nations issuing regular threats and jibes against each other – including hints of war. Tensions have escalated with each missile tested by Pyongyang this year. On September 3, North Korea said it successfully conducted a hydrogen bomb test.
In his first address to the United Nations General Assembly, on September 19, Trump called North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un a “rocket man” on a “suicide mission”, prompting Kim to warn the US president that he would “pay dearly” for his comments.