Trump's Asia trip: 10 best quotes

President Donald Trump and his wife Melania arrive at Yokota Air Base in Tokyo, Japan.
President Donald Trump and his wife Melania arrive at Yokota Air Base in Tokyo, Japan.PHOTO: REUTERS

US President Donald Trump embarked on his first trip to Asia as leader of the United States on Sunday (Nov 5). The 12-day tour included stops in Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

In Japan, Mr Trump fed koi with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, met pop star Pikataro and played golf. In South Korea, he made threats to North Korea but cancelled an impromptu Demilitarised Zone visit with South Korean President Moon Jae In at the last minute due to harsh weather.

In China, Mr Trump was given a lavish "state-visit plus" welcome and drank tea with Chinese President Xi Jinping, while gushing over his adorable Mandarin-speaking granddaughter Arabella Kushner.

At the Apec forum in Vietnam, Mr Trump even made an offer to Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang to mediate in the South China Sea territorial dispute and later in Manila, his bromance with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was on full display at the Asean summit.

Mr Trump wraps up his Asia trip on Nov 14. Here are some of his best quotes:

NOV 5 - IN JAPAN


President Donald Trump addresses members of US military services and Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) at US Air Force Yokota Air Base PHOTO: REUTERS

Speaking to cheering servicemen at Yokota Air Base just west of Tokyo, Mr Trump issued a threat to North Korea:

"No one, no dictator, no regime and no nation should underestimate... American resolve. Every once in a while in the past, they underestimated us. It was not pleasant for them, was it?"

NOV 6 - IN JAPAN


President Donald Trump and Shinzo Abe, Japan's prime minister, walk past an honour guard at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo, Japan PHOTO: REUTERS

Mr Trump on Mr Xi, just days ahead of a visit to China:

"I like him a lot. I call him a friend. He considers me a friend. With that being said, he represents China, I represent the United States."

 

Mr Trump also made a sales pitch for US technology, as he tried to push Tokyo to take a tougher line on Pyongyang:

"The Prime Minister of Japan is going to be purchasing massive amounts of military equipment, as he should," adding, "He (Mr Abe) will shoot them (North Korean missiles) out of the sky when he completes the purchase of lots of additional military equipment from the US."

NOV 8 - IN SOUTH KOREA


Donald Trump attends a state dinner hosted by South Korea's President Moon Jae-in in his honor at the Blue House in Seoul, South Korea. PHOTO: REUTERS

Mr Trump sent a direct message to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a speech at South Korea's National Assembly in Seoul:

"The regime has interpreted America's past restraint as weakness. This would be a fatal miscalculation... Do not underestimate us. And do not try us. ... The weapons you're acquiring are not making you safer, they are putting your regime in grave danger. Every step you take down this dark path increases the peril you face... North Korea is not the paradise your grandfather envisioned. It is a hell that no person deserves."

NOV 9 - IN CHINA


President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping of China at a welcome ceremony in Beijing. PHOTO: NYT

Mr Trump mentioned his six-year-old granddaughter Arabella in his toast during a state dinner organised by Mr Xi at the Great Hall of the People, during which a video of the child singing and speaking in Mandarin was played:

"Our children so often remind us of our shared humanity and true dignity."

NOV 10 - IN VIETNAM


President Donald Trump arrives at the international airport ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in the central Vietnamese city of Danang. PHOTO: AFP

In a speech at the Apec forum, Mr Trump called on countries to stand united against Pyongyang:

"The future of this region and its beautiful people must not be held hostage to a dictator's twisted fantasies of violent conquest and nuclear blackmail."

NOV 12 - IN VIETNAM


Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang and US President Donald Trump attend a business event in Hanoi. PHOTO: AFP

Mr Trump responded with a sarcastic tweet prompted by recent descriptions of him in North Korean state media as a "lunatic old man":

"Why would Kim Jong Un insult me by calling me 'old', when I would NEVER call him 'short and fat'? Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend - and maybe someday that will happen!"

He also said that it was possible he could be friends with Mr Kim one day:

 

"That might be a strange thing to happen but it's a possibility. If it did happen it could be a good thing I can tell you for North Korea, but it could also be good for a lot of other places and be good for the rest the world. It could be something that could happen. I don't know if it will but it would be very, very nice."

Mr Trump even offered to mediate in a territorial dispute over the resource-rich South China Sea, telling Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang:

"If I can help mediate or arbitrate, please let me know... I am a very good mediator and arbitrator."

NOV 13 - IN MANILA


President Donald Trump meets with President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit meeting in Manila. PHOTO: NYT

Mr Trump, while attending the Asean summit, said he had made significant progress on trade issues during a 'fruitful' trip across Asia:

"It was red carpet like nobody, I think, has probably ever seen."

Sources: REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE