Beset by challenges at home, President Donald Trump on Friday embarked 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.
Trump’s tour of Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines from Friday to Nov. 14 will take him out of Washington, where 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 that killed eight people and debate over a tax-cut plan that if approved by Congress would be his first major legislative victory.
The last time a U.S. president was in Asia for so long was in late 1991 and early 1992, when President George H.W. Bush became ill at a Japanese state dinner.
Trump flew on Friday morning to Hawaii, stopping for a briefing on U.S. military forces in the Pacific and a visit to Pearl Harbor.
Trump then will visit Japan and 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.
Trump will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Danang, Vietnam, make a state visit to Hanoi and end his trip with the Association of South East Asia Nations summit in Manila. (Reuters)