The Latest: Japan praises Trump for pressuring North Korea
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The Latest on reactions to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address (all times local):
Japan has praised President Donald Trump’s pledge of putting maximum pressure on North Korea to abandon its nuclear and missile threats.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga says Japan “highly praises President Trump for sending a powerful message in his own words” as North Korea continues to pursue its ambitions.
Suga reiterated Tokyo’s support for the U.S. and vowed to cooperate closely between the two allies and with South Korea, as well as others including China and Russia in order to get the North change its policy.
Trump in his address said that North Korea’s “reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland” and the pressure campaign is needed to prevent that from happening.
Iran’s foreign minister is saying that President Donald Trump has confirmed his “ignorance” in remarks on Iran in his State of the Union address.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reacted just hours after Trump warned of the dangers of “rogue regimes” like Iran and North Korea, in his address to lawmakers in Washington.
Zarif tweeted: “Trump again confirms his ignorance of Iran & region. Everyone knows where he stands; and it’s certainly not with Iranians.”
In his address, Trump called the Islamic Republic a “corrupt dictatorship” and said, “America stands with the people of Iran in their courageous struggle for freedom.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the people of Iran will continue supporting the Islamic Republic despite foreign pressure.
His comments came just hours after President Donald Trump said the U.S. stands with the people of Iran against the country’s ruling establishment. Rouhani spoke during a visit to the mausoleum of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic.
Rouhani said in remarks broadcast by state TV: “The Iranian nation will never give up Imam Khomeini’s legacy; Islamism and Republicanism. Return is impossible.”
During his State of the Union address, Trump called the Islamic Republic a “corrupt dictatorship” and said “America stands with the people of Iran in their courageous struggle for freedom.”
China is calling on the U.S. to drop what it terms a “Cold War mentality and zero-sum ideology” following President Donald Trump’s describing Beijing as a rival in his State of the Union address.
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chuying says common interests outweigh differences between the sides and the U.S. should view the relationship “correctly.”
China’s $275 billion trade surplus with the U.S. has been a constant source of tension, alongside their growing rivalry for military supremacy in Asia and accusations of intellectual property theft.
Trump in his address warned of the dangers from “rogue regimes,” like Iran and North Korea, terrorist groups such as the Islamic State, and “rivals” like China and Russia that he said challenge U.S. interests, its economy and value system
South Korean analysts say President Donald Trump’s fiery comments on North Korea reflected confidence that his campaign of pressure and sanctions on the country is working.
Experts say it also means Washington will continue to deny Pyongyang meaningful dialogue unless it’s willing to discuss serious changes to its nuclear weapons program and human rights conditions.
Du Hyeogn Cha, a visiting scholar at Seoul’s Asan Institute for Policy Studies, says for North Korea, it has to hurt that Trump declared the country as a regime that cannot co-exist with the founding values of the United States.
Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korea expert at Seoul’s Dongguk University and a security adviser to South Korea’s presidential office, says Trump likely saw North Korea’s outreach over the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics as a clear sign that pressure and sanctions are working.