Japan's defense chief warns of possible North Korea provocation on October 10

Tillerson shakes hands with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi before a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing
Japan's defense chief warns of possible North Korea provocation on October 10

01 October, 2017

Assuming he follows through on his travel plans, U.S. President Donald Trump's upcoming visits to Vietnam, the Philippines, and possibly China will shine a potentially unforgiving spotlight on his administration's approach toward Asia and appetite for a continued regional leadership role.

The White House said that the primary mission of the USA president would be to undertake efforts that can establish peace in the region.

The White House said the president will emphasise the importance of "fair and reciprocal" economic ties with America's trade partners, and pursue worldwide support for achieving the "complete, verifiable and irreversible" denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

The countries which he will likely to visit are China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and Philippines.

As part of efforts to reach out to key opinion leaders, Kim will meet with the former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in NY on Thursday to discuss bilateral trade and diplomatic issues, Seoul's commerce ministry said. This would be Trump's first visit to Asia after he took charge as the President of the United States.

In a speech on Thursday, Moon said cooperation with the worldwide community to curb the North's nuclear ambitions was at its highest level ever and called for the strengthening of South Korea-U.S. defences to rein in the North.

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"The president's engagements will strengthen the worldwide resolve to confront the North Korean threat and ensure the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", the White House said in announcing the trip. Pointing to the sixth nuclear test by North Korea, International Atomic Energy Agency director Yukiya Amano expressed fear on the country making "very rapid progress".

North Korea's missile and nuclear programs were the first issues to land on Trump's desk as president, featured in President Barack Obama's handover briefing.

He has denounced Mr Kim as a "rocket man" on a suicide mission for test launches of ballistic missiles and for nuclear weapon tests, and warned North Korea would face total devastation if it threatened the US. Trump would seek the cooperation of other countries in the region to tackle the problems created by North Korea. "I want to thank President Xi", Mr Trump said at a news conference with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

China and the United States in the past month have increased diplomatic activities as both sides prepare for a reset in their relationship following a reshuffling of the leadership in Beijing in October and Trump's visit the following month.

North Korea has conducted a series of ballistic missile launches this year, including two launches over Japan in recent weeks, in defiance of global pressure.

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