Trump could face thorny issues on South Korea visit

Donald Trump North Korea

President Donald Trump on Sunday issued a stern warning that "no dictator" should underestimate the USA as he started an Asian tour dominated by the North Korea nuclear crisis.

"The era of strategic patience is over", Trump said, standing alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The president was also asked about what fresh message he has for Kim Jong Un; the Reuters news agency reporter noted Trump's response to a VOA question on Air Force One on the way to Japan in which he referred to the North Korean people as industrious and warm. He also singled out trade, which he said had been "badly handled" in the region for years. This contrasts with Trump, who has threatened the North with "fire and fury" and exchanged warlike rhetoric with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

All 18 have already been sanctioned by the United States, and the announcement came a day before Trump - who has accused South Korea's dovish President Moon Jae-In of "appeasement" - was due to arrive in Seoul.

"We must pursue every other option before even considering a massive ground invasion", their statement reads.

Mr McMaster said President Trump would urge countries with the most influence over Pyongyang to "convince its leaders that the pursuit of nuclear weapons is a dead end" and that it must denuclearise. At present, South Korea is defended by the United States nuclear umbrella, a guarantee by Washington to defend the country in the wake of an attack.

Abe, at a news conference with Trump at the Akasaka Palace in Tokyo, said Monday there is "no point in dialogue for the sake of dialogue with North Korea" and the time has come to exert maximum pressure on Pyongyang.


'We want to get it solved.

And while the foreign minister acknowledged that some of Trump's rhetoric had raised anxieties in South Korea, she stressed that her government was focused on the president's "overall tone".

The claim was made in September by a retired Air Force general who said the figure was estimated based on a conventional war scenario and did not include potential use of nuclear weapons.

President Trump says he expects to meet face-to-face with Russian President Vladimir Putin next week on the sidelines of an economic summit in Vietnam. In the decades since the Koreas were partitioned, the North has become an impoverished, militarized pariah, while the South has embraced technology, capitalism and deep ties with the Western world.

Beijing has pleaded with both the United States and Pyongyang to 'realize that resorting to military force will never be a viable way to resolve the peninsula issue and their own concerns, adding that 'War on the peninsula will have no victor'.

China's fuel exports to North Korea fell in August, along with iron ore imports from the isolated nation, as trade slowed after the latest UN sanctions, but coal shipments resumed after a five-month hiatus.

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