Trump: Asia held hostage by N Korea’s ‘twisted fantasies’

Trump: Asia held hostage by N Korea’s ‘twisted fantasies’

Trump: Asia held hostage by N Korea’s ‘twisted fantasies’

U.S. President Donald Trump on Nov. 10 said the Asia-Pacific region was being held hostage by the “twisted fantasies” of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, as he called on countries to stand united against Pyongyang.

Trump has embarked on a tour of Asia this week trying to rally regional support for curbing North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme, warning that time is running out over the crisis.

“The future of this region and its beautiful people must not be held hostage to a dictator’s twisted fantasies of violent conquest and nuclear blackmail,” he said during a speech in Vietnam to the annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

The region, he added, must “stand united in declaring that every single step the North Korean regime takes toward more weapons is a step it takes into greater and greater danger.”

Meanwhile, South Korean warships will take part in upcoming joint drills involving three U.S. aircraft carriers in a fresh show of force against North Korea, a Seoul military official said on Nov. 10.

The U.S. Navy said on Nov. 9 that the three vessels -- the USS Ronald Reagan, USS Nimitz and USS Theodore Roosevelt -- will conduct “coordinated operations in international waters” in the western Pacific between Nov. 11-14.

On Nov. 10, Trump also set out a strong message on trade in Vietnam, saying the U.S. could no longer tolerate chronic trade abuses and would insist on fair and equal policies.

Trump said the U.S. was ready to make a bilateral deal with any country in the Indo-Pacific region, but only on the basis of “mutual respect and mutual benefit.”

“When the United States enters into a trading relationship with other countries or other peoples, we will from now on expect that our partners will faithfully follow the rules,” he said in the seaside resort of Danang.

“We expect that markets will be open to an equal degree on both sides and that private investment, not government planners, will direct investment,” he said.

Trump arrived in Vietnam from China on the fourth leg of a 12-day trip to Asia. Redressing the balance of trade between Asia and the United States is at the center of Trump’s “America First” policy he says will protect U.S. workers.

The difference between Trump’s and China’s approaches was made starker by comments in a later speech from Chinese President Xi Jinping, who said globalization was an irreversible trend and voiced support for multilateral trade deals.