Security and trade challenge Trump on first Asia trip

Trump prepares for Asia trip amid increasing tensions with North Korea

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Trump prepares for Asia trip amid increasing tensions with North Korea

During the White House press briefing, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster discusses what President Donald Trump hopes to accomplish during his 10-day trip to Asia.

Security and trade will loom large during President Donald Trump's first official visit to Asia, which begins Sunday in Japan.

North Korea's missile and nuclear weapons programs are likely to be the issue dominating the first part of his trip, which includes stops in South Korea's capital and Beijing as well as Tokyo. Trade will figure throughout, both in North Asia and at his stops in Southeast Asia for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders' meeting in the Philippines.

A look at the top issues from veteran AP correspondents:

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For North Korea, the more blustery Trump comes off during his visit, the better.

It has insisted that the U.S. president's threatening comments and tweets reveal a belligerence that has driven decades of Washington's policy on North Korea and proves the North's decision to develop nuclear weapons was a defensive measure and not only justified but a laudable example of resistance.

North Korea's state-run media have been hitting that argument hard over the past week.

"It has become clearer who is a harasser of peace," the ruling party's newspaper said an editorial Wednesday. "Owing to the U.S., there is constant danger of a nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula and peace and security is always at peril."

The editorial added that if North Korea hadn't developed nuclear weapons, its "sovereignty and national dignity would have been mercilessly violated" by the United States.

North Korea has long said that but also clearly believes Trump's unfiltered words have opened a way for it to gain sympathy among potential critics of Trump in the U.S. media, academic circles and foreign governments.

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