U.S. President Donald Trump will push countries to take stronger measures against North Korea during his upcoming trip to Asia, his national security adviser said on Thursday in Washington.
Trump is set to depart for a 12-day trip to Asia on Friday, where the President will visit China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, and the Philippines, with the DPRK high on Washington’s agenda.
“The President recognizes that we’re running out of time and will ask all nations to do more,” General H.R. McMaster told reporters at a regular White House press briefing.
During his visit to Beijing, Trump will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping and is expected to push China on its trade with both the U.S. and North Korea.
“China is definitely doing more but obviously it is not enough until all of us achieve denuclearization,” McMaster said.
The President is also set to make a speech to lawmakers at South Korea’s National Assembly next Wednesday.
Trump will be accompanied by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, with a State Department press release issued on Thursday further confirming North Korea as a priority for the trip.
“(Tillerson) will visit Beijing, China and will participate in the President’s summit meeting with President Xi Jinping,” the press release reads.
“At the top of the agenda will be North Korea and the economic relationship between the United States and China.”
China maintains it is enforcing UN resolutions, though UN Panel of Experts reports still regularly implicate Chinese individuals and companies in sanctions breaches.
Previous NK Pro reports indicate that some North Korean ships have continued to visit Chinese ports capable of handling sanctioned commodities like coal and iron.
“(The trip) is part of the pressure campaign,” Ken Gause, a North Korea leadership specialist at the CNA corporation told NK News. “It is expected that Trump will use this trip to send strategic reassurance messages to allies and deterrence messages to North Korea.”
But Gause was skeptical the trip will have much impact on Washington’s allies or Beijing, which has historically shown little appetite to enforce restrictions that could seriously destabilize the DPRK.
“I believe that the most Trump can hope for is to reassure Japan and the ROK on U.S. continued support for the alliance,” he added. “As for China and North Korea, I don’t hold out much hope that Trump’s trip will have a major impact on their decision-making.”
Edited by Oliver Hotham
Featured image: White House