U.S. President Donald Trump flew to Asia on Air Force 1 today from Honolulu, Hawaii as he embarks on a 12 day Asian trip that will see him visiting 5 Asian countries to address a host of economic and international policy issues with several Asian countries and respond to North Korea’s defiant nuclear program.
President Trump will attend an East Asian Summit in the Philippines on November 14th that will also be attended by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
President Trump is expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin for the 2nd time when the two world leaders meet on the sidelines of an economic summit in Vietnam, according to the Kremlin on Friday.
In July, President Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of a G20 Summit meeting in Hamburg, Germany.
Trump was slow in reporting about their private conversation which was reported first by Russian media.
The U.S. intelligence community has roundly concluded that the highest levels of Russia’s government was responsible for meddling during the 2016 presidential election.
During the past week, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe has intensified with new allegations released from the Justice Department about past ties between Trump’s campaign officials and the Ukrainian government during a time when Russian backed former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was still in power.
Russia and the United States often have conflicting foreign policies around the globe, especially in Syria and Eastern Europe.
From 2015-2016 Russian President Vladimir Putin increased and doubled down his support for the Assad regime in Syria which strengthened their military power across the war-torn country.
Although President Trump authorized a military strike against Syrian air force planes this spring following a reported chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians, Syrian government forces backed by Russia and Iran continue to accumulate power and are attempting to capture territory across Northern Syria, formerly controlled by ISIS in their quest to form a caliphate.
The U.S. and coalition partners have repeatedly launched extensive air attacks on ISIS targets and support various local ground forces such as Syrian Democratic forces and the Kurdish YPG which oppose the Syrian government’s efforts to capture territory seized by ISIS.
The Syrian conflict will likely surface and be on the table if U.S. President Trump and Russian President Putin meet in Vietnam.
Russia has displayed an assertive foreign policy across the globe and fell under sanction following their annexation of Crimea in Ukraine in 2014.
In September Russian forces underwent joint military exercises in Belarus which borders neighboring Poland, a NATO member.
Trump Expected To Strengthen U.S. Ties With Asian Allies Over North Korea
The U.S. will still need the support of their Asian Pacific allies such as Japan and South Korea when providing a unified message over Pyongyang’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.
On September 3th North Korea carried out its 6th nuclear test following a series of long range ballistic missile tests in the Sea of Japan.
North Korea is under UN sanction over its defiant nuclear program which has violated UN resolutions.
As a Security Council member, China has supported recent additional sanctions on North Korea and continues to hold economic leverage over Pyongyang as its largest trading partner.
During the next 12 days in Asia, President Trump is expected to drum up more support from Beijing over taking a tougher line against North Korea’s nuclear program.
Written and Edited By:
Here is my latest You Tube video where I provide some additional commentary about Trump’s 12 day trip to Asia and some of the issues that will be on the table.