Wednesday 12th of December 2018

kissing himself...

kissing himself...

As Donald Trump jets around Asia this week, US allies and partners across the Indo-Pacific will be looking for signs that his administration has a vision for strengthening America's commitment to regional leadership.

They are likely to be disappointed. In line with his approach to Asia policy so far, Mr Trump's priority is North Korea — where any deal better than deterrence appears increasingly far-fetched — followed by his personal aim to boost American prosperity by extracting better terms from bilateral trade partners.

What he almost certainly won't do is articulate an integrated regional strategy — one that focuses America's economic, diplomatic, and military resources around a coherent set of strategic objectives in Asia.

Amid lingering doubts about US staying power and China's increasingly assertive push to become Asia's number one, this kind of strategy is exactly what America's regional partners need.

It is also what the region expected.

'America first' dashed Asia's hopes

Although Barack Obama's "pivot to Asia" never realised its full potential, it provided much-needed direction to Washington's Asia strategy and a framework for prioritising military, diplomatic, developmental, and economic resources in the region. In the lead-up to the 2016 US election, America's Asian allies and partners were hoping for a stronger "phase two" of the rebalance under a widely-anticipated Hillary Clinton presidency.

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no more fire and fury?...

SEOUL, South Korea — President Trump, whose long-distance threats and insults toward North Korea have stoked fears of a nuclear confrontation, brought a message of reassurance to South Korea on Tuesday, moving to bolster an anxious ally as he came within 35 miles of one of the world’s most dangerous borders.

Gone were the threats to rain “fire and fury” on North Korea and the derisive references to its leader, Kim Jong-un, as “Little Rocket Man” as Mr. Trump said he saw progress in diplomatic efforts to counter the threat from the North, adding, “Ultimately, it will all work out.”

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world repair with mr fixit...

US President Donald Trump has said that heavy sanctions imposed on Russia should not become a barrier for future friendly cooperation between the two nations, adding that cordial international relations would be likely to help resolve the North Korean threat and many other global issues.

Trump's comments on the possible improvement of relations with Moscow came hours after he told reporters that Russian President Vladimir Putin sincerely denied, onthe sidelines of the APEC summit, any Kremlin interference in the US presidential election.

"Russia has been very very heavily sanctioned, they were sanctioned at a very high level and that took place very recently. It's now time to get back to healing a world that is shattered and broken… I feel that having Russia in a friendly posture as opposed to always fighting with them is an asset to the world and an asset to our country, not a liability," during a joint press conference with Vietnamese President Tran Dại Quang.

.@POTUS: "Russia and China, in particular, can help us with the North Korea problem."

— Fox News (@FoxNews) 12 ноября 2017 г.

​Commenting on the North Korean issue, Trump also stressed that the US need "progress, not provocation."

.@POTUS on North Korea: "We want progress, not provocation… We want stability, not chaos. And we want peace, not war."

— Fox News (@FoxNews) 12 ноября 2017 г.

​Earlier on in the day, US President said that he "tried hard" to be a friend of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in spite of all of his insults.

Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me "old," when I would NEVER call him "short and fat?" Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend — and maybe someday that will happen!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 12 ноября 2017 г.

In September, Kim has called Trump a "mentally deranged US dotard" after the US President threatened to “totally destroy" North Korea if forced to defend the United States.

The situation on the Korean peninsula has escalated in recent months after Pyongyang carried out several ballistic missile and nuclear tests in violation of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. Earlier, the UNSC adopted its toughest resolution against North Korea, restricting oil exports, as well as the country's access to gas liquids, and banning the import of textile products from the Asian nation.


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pearl harbor...

Japan denies that US President Donald Trump launched a surprise attack against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe by bringing up Pearl Harbor during trade talks, contrary to a report by the Washington Post.

The episode described by the Washington Post allegedly happened during a Trump-Abe meeting in June to discuss trade. Trump is not happy with the trade deficit and wants Tokyo to consent to a deal more favorable to the US.

According to the newspaper, at one point during the meeting, the US president said: “I remember Pearl Harbor.” He then launched into a “blistering critique of Japan’s economic policies.” The piece is mostly based on the words of a number of anonymous sources in the US State Department, the White House, and the Japanese government. It details the personal relations between Trump and Abe, whether or not their personal chemistry mitigated the tensions over trade, and whether Japan would be less willing to turn a blind eye to American trade restrictions in the future.

The juicy detail about the remark on the surprise Japanese attack during World War II understandably received a lot of attention in the US. Some Trump critics felt yet again justified in their opinion that the president is an incompetent diplomat, or worse.


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