U.S. President Donald Trump will travel to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines from November 3 to 14 to attend regional summits and discuss trade and the North Korean nuclear threat, the White House said on Friday.
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"The president's engagements will strengthen the international resolve to confront the North Korean threat and ensure the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," it said in a statement.
The announcement comes amid escalating rhetoric between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Trump tweeted that North Korea’s leadership “won’t be around much longer.” North Korea’s top diplomat, Ri Yong Ho, argued Trump’s tweet gives his nation the right to shoot down U.S. military aircraft, like the strategic bombers Washington flew close to the border between the two Koreas over the weekend.
The White House said Monday it’s not seeking to overthrow North Korea’s government and called Pyongyang’s assertion absurd that Trump’s comment amounted to a declaration of war.