President Trump embarks next week on a trip to Asia, focusing on U.S. economic and security alliance and the looming nuclear threat from North Korea — but a visit to the Korean Demilitarized Zone is currently not on the schedule, a senior White House official said Monday.
The official attributed the decision not to visit the DMZ on logistics and not security concerns. The official also stressed that the schedule was still being finalized.
During the trip, Mr. Trump will visit Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines, and he will deliver several major speeches to reaffirm U.S. leadership in promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
The 12-day trip will be the longest foreign excursion of the Mr. Trump’s presidency and his first to Asia.
The stops in South Korea and China will be state visits.
While in South Korea, Mr. Trump is expected to visit U.S. troops at Camp Humphries and address the country’s National Assembly.
“He will celebrate the enduring alliance between the United States and the Republic of Korea and call on the international community to join together in maximizing pressure on North Korea,” said a senior White House official.
The trip will begin Nov. 3 with a stop in Hawaii, where the president will receive a briefing from the U.S. Pacific Command, visit Pearl Harbor and tour the USS Arizona Memorial.
Mr. Trump is scheduled to arrive Nov. 5 in Japan. He will meet with American and Japanese service members, and participate in bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who will also host the president for a meeting with the families of Japanese citizens abducted by the North Korean regime.
Two days later, he will visit South Korea. He will participate in a bilateral meeting with President Moon Jae-in and visit American and South Korean service members.
While in South Korea, Mr. Trump will speak at the National Assembly. His speech will celebrate the enduring alliance and friendship between the United States and the Republic of Korea, and call on the international community to join together in maximizing pressure on North Korea, according to the White House.
Mr. Trump is scheduled to arrive Nov. 8 in Beijing. He will meet with President Xi Jinping and participate in bilateral meeting, trade and cultural events.
“The president will seek to security China’s commitments to exert more pressure on North Korea and to rebalance our economic relations,” the official said. “The visit will send a clear message that for bilateral economic relations to be sustainable over the long term, China must provide fair and reciprocal treatment to U.S. firms and cease predatory trade and investment practices.”
The next stop will be in Danang, Vietnam, on Nov. 10, where he will participate in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting and deliver a speech at the APEC CEO Summit.
In the speech, Mr. Trump plans to present the U.S. vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific region and underscore the important role the region plays in advancing America’s economic prosperity, said the White House.
The president will travel Nov. 11 to Hanoi, Vietnam, for an official visit and bilateral engagements with President Tran Dai Quang and other senior Vietnamese leaders.
Mr. Trump will wrap up the trip in the Philippines.
He will arrive Nov. 12 in Manila and participate in the Special Gala Celebration Dinner for the 50th Anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). On the final day of the trip Nov. 13, he will join the 40th anniversary celebration of U.S.-ASEAN relations at the U.S.-ASEAN Summit and participate in bilateral meetings with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
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