Trump Asia trip to strengthen alliances, expand new ties: HR McMaster

Trump Asia trip to strengthen alliances, expand new ties: HR McMaster

Wilson recently returned from a trip to Asia, where he led a delegation to countries including South Korea and Japan. It will be the longest Asia tour by an American president in more than 25 years.

"The U.S. imperialists are making last-ditch efforts to check the dynamic advance of the DPRK by deploying their nuclear strategic assets in succession, but its army and people are never frightened at such moves", KCNA reported, refering to North Korea by its official initials.

"This trip is a great opportunity to demonstrate America's and the Trump administration's commitment to the Indo-Pacific and our efforts to strengthen longstanding American alliances and expand new partnerships", McMaster told reporters at a White House news conference on the eve of Trump's departure to the region.

If this is not achieved through pressure by economic sanctions and diplomacy, national security adviser General H.R. McMaster warned, the United States "will respond with all capabilities available to North Korean aggression".

South Korea's spy agency told lawmakers on Thursday that North Korea may be planning a new missile test, after brisk activity was spotted at its research facilities.

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U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited the demilitarized zone that divides the Korean Peninsula last week and Vice President Mike Pence made the same trip in April.

The bombers flew over the Pilsung Range training area in central South Korea, Air Force spokeswoman Captain Victoria Hight said.

McMaster said 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 denuclearize. He added the president will remind friends and foes alike, that the US stands ready to defend itself if needed using its full-range of capabilities. China has expressed frustration with its smaller but increasingly provocative neighbor, but Trump is expected to request that Beijing apply even more pressure on Kim Jong Un. There he will ask Chinese President Xi Jinping to do more to rein in North Korea. Xi has been "pretty terrific" to work with on the North Korea issue, Trump said, citing China's cutting off of banking relationships and supplies to North Korea as a sign of Xi's willingness to work with the United States.

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy is warning President Donald Trump to remember that he needs congressional approval to launch any unilateral military action against North Korea. This trip is not only Trump's longest foreign trip till date but also the longest Asia trip by a U.S. president in more than a quarter-century. "I don't think the President really modulates his language".

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