Trump reaches out to Seoul for support on North Korea, Syria

Trump reaches out to Seoul for support on North Korea, Syria

Abe said he and Trump also "frankly exchanged opinions" over the issue of Syria as well as North Korea, following Thursday's US military strike on a Syrian military airfield from which a chemical attack was allegedly launched, killing dozens of civilians including children.

McMaster said that during their summit Thursday and Friday in Florida, the two leaders called for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

"This is a rogue regime that is now a nuclear-capable regime, so the President has asked us to be prepared to give him a full range of options to remove that threat to the American people and our allies and partners in that region", McMaster said on "Fox News Sunday".

The statement said that North Korea, which regards Syria as an ally, was not surprised that this U.S. military attack was a "warning to us" and that it was another example that "we have to defend ourselves against imperialist aggressions".

North Korea has been trying to develop a long-range missile carrying a nuclear warhead that is capable of hitting the USA mainland, a distance of about 8,000 kilometers.

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Tensions between the United States and North Korea continue to escalate as United States officials consider the best way forward. Yet, as long as economic nationalists and establishment pragmatists in the White House wage pitched battles over the China policy and Beijing and Washington continue to see each other as potential adversaries, Trump's prediction that the "lots of very potentially bad problems will be going away" will turn out to be wildly optimistic.

Trump responded by saying that the missile attack was meant to make sure chemical weapons will never again be used following the casualties among Syrian civilians, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda said.

The former senior vice foreign minister also said the USA missile attack on Syria could cut both ways - it could work as a deterrent toward the North or it could push Pyongyang into a corner. The hermit state has launched several missile tests this year and most recently took issue with the US missile strike on an airbase in Syria last Friday.

"The message that any nation can take is, 'If you violate global norms, if you violate worldwide agreements, if you fail to live up to commitments, if you become a threat to others, at some point a response is likely to be undertaken", he said on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday.

South Korea on Friday lauded the summit agreement between the USA and Chinese leaders to work closely together to convince North Korea to curb its nuclear program. He didn't specify North Korea, but the context was clear enough.

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The Vinson group last month participated in joint drills with the South Korean military to prepare for a sudden change on the peninsula - including the collapse of the North Korean regime or an invasion.

South Korea's Ministry of National Defense said Monday that the deployment of the strike group shows that the United States "recognizes the seriousness of the situation on the Korean Peninsula".

U.S. military strikes against Syria over its alleged use of chemical weapons are a warning to other nations, including North Korea, that "a response is likely" if they pose a danger, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Sunday.

He credited China in the news conference with taking a "big step" by turning back boats of coal that North Korea sells to its northern neighbor.

North Korea's recent ballistic missile tests and continued pursuit of a nuclear program have raised tensions in the region, where U.S. Navy ships are a common presence and serve in part as a show of force.

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