Trump discusses Syria, North Korea with Japanese prime minister

Last week, all eyes in Asia were on the meeting between US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at Mr Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

John Yang has a report.

After his first encounter with the man leading the nation he once criticized as a menace, President Trump was full of praise. It was the first direct American assault on the government of President Bashar al-Assad since the outbreak of the war - an assault that could shape the future of the conflict and will certainly shape the summit. Last week, the president tweeted that his meeting with Xi would be "very hard". Good thing that's never ended poorly for the US or the country under attack. He said he believes the USA and China can continue to develop the relationship, noting that it's the historic responsibility of both countries to work toward peace and stability.

A Chinese envoy arrives in South Korea on Monday to discuss North Korea's increasingly defiant weapons program as a US Navy strike group heads to the region amid concerns Pyongyang may be readying a fresh nuclear test.

Pyongyang test-fired yet another missile this week.

On Wednesday morning, intelligence officials and Trump's military advisers said they were certain which Syrian air base was used to launch the chemical attack and that they had tracked the Sukhoi-22 jet that carried it out.

With North Korea growing more bellicose and apparently preparing a sixth nuclear test or a major missile test, Trump diverted a us aircraft carrier strike force toward the Korean peninsula and spoke with the leaders of Japan and South Korea. So far, I have gotten nothing. "I think truly progress has been made". We can not do this unilaterally.

However, the talks produced progress in Trump's efforts to reduce the trade deficit with the world's No. 2 economy.

Ahead of the talks, U.S Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the Trump administration would push for fair trade with China, and the interests of American workers were paramount for the President.

Trump's position on democratically ruled Taiwan - which China considers a breakaway province - has been an major irritant since he accepted a protocol-breaking phone call from the Taiwanese president after his election victory.

How the US-China Relationship Has Changed Over the Years
Xi refused to speak with the new American president by phone until he agreed to affirm the One China policy. In using such language, Tillerson adopted wholesale the Chinese definition of U.S.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Don't forget, we're the piggy bank. They have taken so much money out of our country. And that's what they're doing. China is North Korea's most important ally and trading partner, and a significant source of its weapons, food and energy. So I haven't held back.

Japan, which has seen previous North Korean missile tests fall within 200 miles of its coast, praised the USA carrier movement.

Not everyone was cheering in Washington, where the president's decision to act without congressional authority angered a mix of libertarian Republicans, Democrats and the far right.

McMaster and Mattis presented Trump with three options, which were quickly narrowed to two: bomb multiple airfields or just the Shayrat airfield near the city of Homs, where the military jet carrying the poison gas had taken off, the official said.

JOHN YANG: Former Ambassador Baucus.

MAX BAUCUS: You have to stand up to them.

Mrs. Trump said it was "great" when one student said she wanted to be "a senator, and perhaps then president". "And I believe lots of very potentially bad problems will be going away", he added, without providing details.

"He said he is hopeful that Washington will be able to cooperate with Beijing to change the North Korean leadership's mindset, adding the USA can consider dialogue with the North at that point".

For the PBS NewsHour, I'm John Yang.

On Saturday, the U.S. officials announced that aircraft carrier strike group was sent to the Korean peninsula amid rising tensions with North Korea.

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