• 23:53
  • 07.03.2021
Time running out for North Korea: McMaster

Time running out for North Korea: McMaster

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US President Donald Trump's 12-day trip to Asia will demonstrate America's commitment to the Indo-Pacific, encourage China to do more on trade issues, and convince the region "we are running out of time" to halt North Korea's pursuit of nuclear missiles.
Mr Trump's national security adviser, HR McMaster, offered a preview of the president's trip that will take him to Hawaii, Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.
"The president recognises that we're running out of time and will ask all nations to do more," General McMaster, describing the North Korean threat, told reporters at a White House press conference on Thursday.
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Air Force One is scheduled to depart Maryland on Friday (Saturday AEDT).
The trip comes after Mr Trump pulled the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership with Australia and 10 other Pacfic Rim nations, a fiery January phone call with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and mixed signals to key Asian partners Japan and South Korea on trade and security.
"His trip is a great opportunity to demonstrate America's and the Trump administration's commitment to the Indo-Pacific and our efforts to strengthen longstanding American alliances and expand new partnerships," General McMaster said.
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Mr Trump is expected to hold a bilateral meeting with Mr Turnbull at APEC in Vietnam next week.
General McMaster declined to say if Mr Trump will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Asian tour, the longest by a US president since George HW Bush in 1991, will attempt to soothe allies' fears America would retreat from the Asia-Pacific.
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Mr Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, made a major strategic shift during his presidency when he announced the US would "pivot" away from Europe and the Middle East towards the rapidly growing Asia-Pacific.
Despite ridiculing and axing US involvement in the TPP, threatening protectionist policies, and calling out South Korea and Japan for not paying enough for America's military presence in their nations, Mr Trump throughout the Asian trip "will stress his commitment to free, fair and reciprocal trade", General McMaster said.
Mr Trump's meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping will likely be key to the tour, with Mr Trump expected to pressure China on multiple fronts.
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General McMaster did not name China, but said the president will make the case for "respect for freedom of navigation and overflight, rule of law, sovereignty, freedom from coercion, and private enterprise and open markets".
Mr Trump will encourage China to do more to end North Korea's nuclear and missile program.
"China is definitely doing more but obviously it is not enough until all of us achieve denuclearisation," General McMaster said.
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He added the president's cabinet was examining whether to list North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism.

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