Trump to call for increased pressure on North Korea during Asian trip

-In a conventional conflict, the B-52 can perform air interdiction, offensive counter-air and maritime operations. During Desert Storm, B-52s delivered 40 percent of all the weapons dropped by coalition forces. It is highly effective when used for ocean surveillance, and can assist the U.S. Navy in anti-ship and mine-laying operations. Two B-52s, in two hours, can monitor 140,000 square miles (364,000 square kilometers) of ocean surface. All B-52s are equipped with an electro-optical viewing system that uses platinum silicide forward-looking infrared and high resolution low-light-level television sensors to augment the targeting, battle assessment, flight safety and terrain-avoidance system, thus further improving its combat ability and low-level flight capability. (U.S. Air Force photo)

President Trump is expected to call on China and other Asian nations to put additional economic pressure on North Korea in an ongoing diplomatic effort to convince Pyongyang to do something it’s not going to do: Put an end to its maturing nuclear weapons and ICBM programs.

The White House said that Trump will travel to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines from Nov. 3-Nov. 14 on his first Asian tour. The president also plans a stopover in Hawaii, which has been increasingly jittery as North Korea continues testing longer-range missiles.

The administration said that in South Korea, Trump will meet with President Moon Jae-in and “call on the international community to join together in maximizing pressure on North Korea.”

In Japan, Trump will meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe where he will also participate in a meeting with families of “Japanese citizens abducted by the North Korean regime.”

Trump will also meet with leaders of China, Vietnam and the Philippines and attend a pair of trade summits.

Analyst comment: For the moment, Trump has settled on trying to solve the North Korean issue diplomatically. He’s likely well aware that Pyongyang isn’t going to willingly give up its programs, so he may just be buying time and warning North Korea’s neighbors what is to come. At the same time he’s making his rounds in Asia, the U.S. Navy is assembling a considerable amount of firepower in the region.

Why it’s on our radar: Information in this article helps satisfy Priority Intelligence Requirement 3: What are the latest indicators of a U.S.-North Korea war?  Each week in our Strategic Intelligence Summary, we gauge the likelihood and scope of conflict with Russia, China, North Korea, and in the Middle East, and track the latest developments in each region.  Subscribe here to receive our premium intelligence products prepared by Intelligence and special operations veterans.

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