Trump poised to strike North Korea

Lucy Hill
April 11, 2017

In the lead-up to the summit, China-watchers predicted that President Xi would bring with him a number of key proposals on how to reduce China's huge trade surplus with the USA, the thorniest of all bilateral issues and a key plank in Mr Trump's electoral campaign, during which he repeatedly accused China of "raping" the United States, and vowed to brand the superpower a currency manipulator. In May 2016, in an interview with The Economist, the businessman declared: "We have a lot of power over China economically".

The two-day summit, which was interrupted by news that the US launched airstrikes in Syria, concluded with a working lunch on Friday (US time). Bob Corker, the Tennessee Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee told CNN's Jake Tapper. "I can see why (Tillerson) he would rather focus on actions".

"President Xi clearly understands", Tillerson clarified, "and I think agrees, that the situation has intensified and has reached a certain level of threat that action has to be taken", according to The Guardian. Yet US military action in Syria would largely derail that narrative, despite glowing comments from both Trump and Xi.

Perhaps, although as Mr Ross himself subsequently admitted, "given the range of issues" facing the world's most important economies, the timetable "may be ambitious".

"This man who is now in office in America claimed that he wanted to fight terrorism but today all terrorists in Syria are celebrating the USA attack", Rouhani said in a speech aired by state television.

In Florida with the president, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said additional economic sanctions on Syria were being prepared. And a senior administration official cautioned the strike shouldn't be seen as the beginning of a wider campaign to weaken or remove the Syrian leader.

The UK government has been "reassured" by how Donald Trump has handled Assad's use of chemical weapons, I write in The Sun this morning.

Xi had arrived at the meeting with a gift of "tweetable deliverables", sources said - peace offerings on Trump's signature issues of trade and jobs that were meant to smooth ties. "Trump is more frank and earnest than Obama".

"A more effective response is what we do, not just what we say", Blinken said. He noted that "the only true protection from conflict is the end of conflict".

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On Thursday, Coulter tweeted: "Those who wanted us meddling in the Middle East voted for other candidates".

A key test of whether the relationship can be salvaged comes next week when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson becomes the first Trump Cabinet member to visit Russian Federation.

Sir John, also former UK permanent representative to the United Nations, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme he was "no fan" of Mr Trump and that the first three months of his presidency had been "chaotic", but he said the response to the chemical weapons attack in Syria was "effective", even if it was not part of a new grand strategy. KCNA said its leader Kim Jong Un and Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad exchanged messages of warm wishes and pledges of friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

"Why have you attacked the Syrian army which is at war with terrorists?" It is unsurprising, in that context, that North Korea would see giving in to USA calls for unilateral disarmament as merely a prelude to a United States attack.

Trump accepted an invitation for a state visit to China this year. So leaders in Beijing will put any amount of pressure on North Korea, except that amount which might actually work.

"I think we have made tremendous progress in our relationship with China".

Anne Coulter, a favorite pundit of conservatives, pointed to Trump's 2013 tweets opposing any increase in USA military involvement in the Middle East.

The head of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, which provides missile detection for the region, said Thursday she was "extremely confident" of United States capability to intercept a potential intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) bound for America from the North.

Tillerson said Trump and the Chinese president "had extensive discussions around the risky situation in North Korea".

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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