WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — President Donald Trump embarked Friday for his first official visit to Asia.
Speaking with reporters as he prepared to depart for his trip, the president said he thinks his visit will be very “successful,” adding there is a lot of “goodwill.”
“I think we’re going to have great success,” he said.
The president will make an initial stop in Hawaii, where he’ll participate in a briefing from the U.S. Pacific Command on the island of Oahu. He’ll then tour the USS Arizona memorial at Pearl Harbor.
Trump will then visit Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.
Ahead of the president’s trip, two U.S. supersonic bombers flew over the Korean Peninsula for bombing exercises that are also a show of force against North Korea.
North Korea’s state media denounced the exercise as a “surprise nuclear strike drill” and says “gangster-like U.S. imperialists” are seeking to ignite a nuclear war.
In recent months, North Korea has tested intercontinental ballistic missiles that could reach the U.S. mainland with further development and has conducted its most powerful nuclear test. It also flew powerful new midrange missiles over Japan and threatened to launch them toward Guam, the U.S. Pacific territory and military hub.
The United States has responded by sending its strategic assets to the region more frequently for patrols or drills. That has angered North Korea, whose foreign minister said in September the North had “every right” to take countermeasures, including shooting down the U.S. warplanes, though many experts doubt it has the actual intent or ability to do so.
Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency said Friday that the “U.S. imperialist warmongers” should not act rashly.
“The U.S. imperialists are making last-ditch efforts to check the dynamic advance of the DPRK by deploying their nuclear strategic assets in succession, but its army and people are never frightened at such moves,” the report said, referring to North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)