US President Donald Trump is set to visit Asia in November for the first time since becoming president.
Trump is expected to stop in Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines on a trip to be highlighted by the North Korea nuclear threat.
Trump will travel Nov. 3-14. with first lady Melania Trump on a visit that will include two major summits, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Vietnam and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations conclave in the Philippines.
Asian leaders who met Trump at the United Nations General Assembly in New York last week persuaded him to attend in unity with key Asian allies, a US official said.
An Asian diplomat welcomed Trump’s decision to visit Manila “because that reassures the region that Asia policy is not just about North Korea, it’s about Southeast Asia as well,” Reuters reported.
Trump’s attendance at the Manila summit had not been confirmed until recent days, with officials saying he was reluctant to show support for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, however, said Duterte was looking forward to meeting Trump, adding that the relationship between the two countries was so resilient that ties would always recover, regardless of disagreements.
“The president’s engagements will strengthen the international resolve to confront the North Korean threat and ensure the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” the White House said in announcing the trip.