Trump Declares ‘America First’ Policy a Success After Asia Trip

Hours after returning home from a 12-day, five-country excursion to Asia with few concrete announcements, Mr. Trump nonetheless declared the trip a success in uniting the world against North Korea and insisting on reciprocal trade from Asian nations.

President Trump on Wednesday boasted that nearly 10 months of his “America First” foreign policy had restored strength and respect to the United States on the world stage after years of what he deemed failed leadership under his predecessors.

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Fox News -
Trump represents the US far better in Asia trip than Obama ever did

President Trump did us all proud on his Asia trip – at least those of us who are still prouder to be Americans rather than citizens of the world.

President Trump was saying, in effect: "I'm onto your game, and your days of taking advantage of the American people are over." President Trump also brokered major arms sales to our allies, Japan and South Korea, further contributing to righting the U.S. trade imbalance.

The Guardian -
North Korea 'sentences Trump to death' for insulting Kim Jong-un

North Korea’s state media has criticised Donald Trump for insulting leader Kim Jong-Un, saying the US president deserved the death penalty and calling him a coward for cancelling a visit to the inter-Korean border.

Since becoming president, Trump has engaged in an escalating war of words with Kim Jong-un, trading personal insults and threats of military strikes and raising concerns about an outbreak of hostilities.

New York Times -
Susan Rice: Trump Is Making China Great Again

This approach seemed to suit President Trump just fine, as he welcomed a rote recitation of China’s longstanding rejection of a nuclear North Korea and failed to extract new concessions or promises.

Mr. Trump showered President Xi Jinping of China with embarrassingly fawning accolades, calling him “a very special man” and stressing that “my feeling towards you is an incredibly warm one.” He blamed his predecessors rather than China for our huge trade deficits and hailed Mr. Xi’s consolidation of authoritarian power.

NBC News -
5 takeaways from Trump's trip to Asia

One koi pond, five countries, 11 days and 66 tweets later, President Donald Trump's trip to Asia — the longest of any U.S. president since George H.W. Bush — is over.

After extending his travels by a day to attend more of the East Asia Summit here, Trump finally headed home Tuesday after recapping his trip for reporters, however beleaguered from the travel they might be. MANILA, Philippines — One koi pond, five countries, 11 days and 66 tweets later, President Donald Trump's trip to Asia — the longest of any U.S. president since George H.W. Bush — is over.

DW -
Opinion: Donald Trump, the illusory giant

Donald Trump's first trip to Asia highlighted one thing: the US president has very little desire to compete with China, says DW's Thomas Latschan.

Once there, Donald Trump was suddenly timid, praising the Chinese president effusively and displaying his awe for Xi's power. Trump went so far as to temporarily change the background image on his Twitter account, proudly showing himself at Xi Jinping's side while visiting the Forbidden City and lauding the welcome ceremony that his Chinese host afforded him.

New York Times -
Trump in Asia: A ‘Very Epic’ Charm Offensive

Like most things that Mr. Trump undertakes, the president treated the grueling 12-day trip through Asia that he wrapped up here on Tuesday as a test of his own personal charisma and stamina, a marathon charm offensive that he vowed would yield quick results.

When the president set off on a surprise, ultimately aborted trip to the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea, he skipped a meet-and-greet with embassy staff in Seoul; Mrs. Trump spoke in his stead.

New York Times -
President Trump’s Thing for Thugs

Every weekday, get thought-provoking commentary from Op-Ed columnists, The Times editorial board and contributing writers from around the world.

Whatever the reason, there’s been nothing quite like Mr. Trump’s love affair with one-man rule since Spiro Agnew returned from a world tour in 1971 singing the praises of thuggish dictators like Lee Kuan Yew, Haile Selassie, Jomo Kenyatta, Mobutu Sese Seko and Gen. Francisco Franco.

Washington Post -
Trump’s Asia trip was mostly free of incidents — until it wasn’t

Asked at a news conference at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi about the second half of his Kim tweet, in which Trump lamented that he tries “so hard to be his friend,” the president said a friendship with the North Korean dictator was “certainly a possibility.”

President Trump departed for a five-country, 12-day swing through Asia facing one overarching question: Could he avoid what The Onion satirical website jokingly predicted would be a “bizarre, easily avoidable international incident”?

The Guardian -
Donald Trump skips East Asia Summit on final day of 12-day tour

Donald Trump has ended a marathon trip to Asia by skipping an international summit after the event was delayed by about two hours.

However, after a gruelling 12-day trip across five countries, Trump opted to get on Air Force One and fly back to Washington. His flight left more than 30 minutes earlier than planned and he also missed a group photo with other world leaders.

New York Times -
Trump’s Mixed Messages Fail to Reassure Asian Allies

As he wrapped up a marathon tour of Asia on Tuesday, Mr. Trump’s mixed messages left allies unsure of America’s staying power and fed a growing sense that China, not the United States, drives the agenda in the region.

Mr. Trump’s invitation for one-on-one trade negotiations with the United States, Mr. Green said, was likely to fall on deaf ears in Asian countries, many of which went though fierce debates before signing on to the Pacific trade deal and now want to reap its benefits.

Reuters -
U.S., Philippines ties back on track as Trump, Duterte make up and bond

Mutual praise, warm handshakes and even an impromptu love song at a lavish dinner suggest U.S. President Donald Trump and Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte want a fresh start after the biggest breakdown in U.S.-Philippine ties in years.

Their meeting on Monday during a summit of Asian leaders in Manila was arguably the most anticipated of the three-day event and went off well, with Duterte’s aides talking up the rapport the two had, and Trump boasting of his “great relationship” with the similarly mercurial Philippines leader. It came a little over a year after Duterte announced his “separation” from the United States and sought new alliances with China and Russia.

The Guardian -
Trump sticks to the script on Asia tour – but still leaves confusion in his wake

After 12 days of daily summits in five countries on the Pacific rim, Donald Trump headed home on Tuesday leaving behind a region largely relieved that the US president did not escalate existing relations but still confused about his administration’s policies in Asia.

Trump has said he will deliver his own verdict on the trip in what he promised would be a “major statement” on North Korea and trade, the headline themes of the trip.

Washington Post -
From Burma to the Philippines, Trump largely ignores human rights on Asia trip

As his first official trip to Asia neared its end Monday, President Trump had yet to utter a word about the vicious military campaign against the Rohingya Muslim ethnic minority in Burma, which the United Nations’ top human rights official has called a “textbook example” of genocide.

White House aides said Trump routinely brings up human rights in his private conversations with world leaders, and in a couple of notable instances he has addressed the matter in public on his Asia trip.

The Guardian -
North Korea: US is 'escalating tension' with military exercises in peninsula

North Korea’s UN ambassador Ja Song Nam said in a letter to secretary general Antonio Gutteres Monday that the joint US military exercises with South Korea are creating “the worst ever situation prevailing in and around the Korean peninsula”. Along with the three carrier groups, he said the US has reactivated round-the-clock sorties with nuclear-capable B-52 strategic bombers “which existed during the Cold War times”.

Washington Post -
American detained trying to enter North Korea, while North Korean soldier escapes south

 The Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas saw an unusual amount of action Monday, with an American man unsuccessfully attempting to cross into the North and a North Korean soldier successfully defecting to the South.

The 2.5-mile-wide strip between North and South Korea, which President Bill Clinton once called “the scariest place on earth,” has kept the two states separate since the Korean War ended in an armistice rather than a truce in 1953.

“Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets...” ― Napoléon Bonaparte