Trump heads to Japan with North Korea on his mind

Trump heads to Japan with North Korea on his mind

The president's first stops are Japan and South Korea - frontline U.S. allies in the effort to force Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear programme, and the two countries with most to fear should a full-scale conflict break out.

Like their predecessors, today's service members are fearless warriors who are the last bulwark against threats to the dreams of people in America, Japan and across the world, Trump said. The two passed up the region's famed Kobe beef in favor of the American version, which is favored by Trump, a famed picky eater. They played nine holes together on Sunday at Kasumigaseki Country Club, where they were joined by Japanese pro golfer Hideki Matsuyama.

Trump, who is on a 12-day trip, is to speak to US and Japanese forces at Yokota air base shortly after arriving in Japan on Sunday and looked to stress the importance of the alliance to regional security.

U.S. President Donald Trump, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, second from left, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie Abe, left, speaks to members of the media before having a dinner at Ginza Ukai Tei restaurant, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, in Tokyo. Both men are avid golfers.

Speaking to hundreds of cheering United States and Japanese troops at Yokota Air Base, just west of Tokyo, Mr Trump said: "No dictator, no regime, no nation should ever underestimate American resolve".

"From the point of view of Abe administration, the personal chemistry that exists between the two leaders is seen as an asset", said Mireya Sollis, chair in Japan Studies for the Brookings Center for East Asia Policy Studies.




North Korea is the critical issue looming over Mr Trump's 12-day, five-country trip that will include direct talks with Mr Trump's Chinese and Russian counterparts. The president warned of the consequences of crossing what he called the "most fearsome fighting force in the history of our world". "No one - no dictator, no regime and no nation - should underestimate, ever, American resolve", he told the troops.

North Korean Christians are in danger if Donald Trump continues his aggression towards Kim Jong Un, a former missionary in the pariah state is warning.

"We may have a meeting with Putin", he said.

Each service member embodies the warrior creed, Trump said, adding their devotion, prowess and expertise comprise the USA military as the fiercest fighting force in world history.

Scott Seaman, a director for Asia of the Eurasia Group, a political risk consultant organization, noted: "everything is fine with Trump until you tell him no".

Colvin reported from Tokyo.

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