After stopping in Hawaii to pay his respects at a Pearl Harbor memorial, US President Donald Trump reboarded Air Force One on Saturday for a marathon Asia tour as North Korea´s nuclear threat looms large.
According to the President, Trump supported his antidrugs campaign and the US leader told him he was doing it "the right way". Trump may also shoot down a North Korean missile over international waters; that's less provocative than a strike on North Korean territory, but I'd still expect a military response.
Tammy Duckworth, a former military pilot who is now a Democratic senator from Illinois, says that from what she hears, the chance is greater than 50/50 that the president will order a strike. "We have to talk about Ukraine".
Getting ready to land in Hawaii. "They're not going to die here - and he's told me that to my face".
The focus on North Korea's nuclear ambitions is an obvious one.
With so much on the line, one would hope that Mr. Trump has prepared carefully for the challenge.
These include an intensifying federal investigation into Russian meddling in last year's election, New York's recovery from an attack earlier this week that killed eight people, and debate over a Republican tax-cut plan that if approved by Congress would be Trump's first major legislative victory.
On the back of its nuclear blackmail, Kim Jong-un is pressing for a peace treaty to replace the current armistice agreement with the US. Fiery threats against the North could resonate differently than they do from the distance of Washington.
Last year, South Korea unilaterally closed operations at the jointly-run Kaesong Industrial Complex, saying cash from the zone was being funnelled to the North's weapons programme. This strategy is clearly China's art of "peaceful" war with the U.S. and the West.
"There's a danger if there is a lot of muscle flexing", said Mike Chinoy, a senior fellow at the U.S. -China Institute at the University of Southern California.
The letter, reportedly written by vice director of the Pentagon's Joint Staff Rear Adm. Michael J Dumont, said North Korea "has a long-standing chemical weapons program with the capability to produce nerve, blister, blood and choking agents".
The White House said Trump would be undeterred. "I don't think the president really modulates his language, have you noticed?"
Pyongyang's demand to be recognized as the ninth nuclear state alongside the eight countries who already have their nuclear arsenals recognized is running into stiff resistance from the international community for obvious reasons.
However, he graciously conceded that Matsuyama was likely to tee off further than him, warning the press of possible fake news. The views reflected in the article are his own. - Ed.
He will wrap up his trip in Manila on November 12-13, taking part in a summit of South-East Asian leaders, and will hold what could turn out to be a colourful one-on-one with the outspoken Duterte.
His administration's eager embrace of a deeper strategic partnership with India and other democracies across the Pacific risks alienating China and Pakistan. As U.S. prestige and influence decline with the unpredictable President Trump, China makes more friends, influences others, and continues to tutor the American president.
Asked about the prospect of a similar food snob crime against high-end Wagyu, the Japanese foreign affairs official implied a subtle dance of manners is at play.