ReutersHONOLULU (Reuters) — U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in Hawaii on Friday as he set out on the longest trip to Asia by an American president in more than a quarter century, looking for help to pressure North Korea to stand down from a nuclear crisis.
After Air Force One landed at Joint Base Hickam, Trump and his wife, Melania, were draped with traditional lei necklaces. Trump went on to nearby Camp Smith for a classified briefing from Pacific Command military leaders that officials expected would touch on North Korea and other areas.
Trump’s 12-day trip to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines, ending on Nov. 14, takes him out of Washington at a time when he has been beset by several issues.
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 Saturday, Trump is to fly to Japan and later visit South Korea in search of a united front against North Korea before going to Beijing, where he will push Chinese President Xi Jinping to get tougher with Pyongyang.
In the Fox interview, Trump was asked if he planned to be tough on China over thorny issues including trade, intellectual property theft and subsidies.
“You have to understand something — very important,” he responded. “We have a problem called North Korea.”
Trump said Chinese President Xi Jinping “has been pretty terrific” in cutting Pyongyang off from banking and oil systems. He added that Japan had reason to be worried about North Korea and alluded to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s campaign for a military buildup against that threat.Speech