President Donald Trump says he thinks China will "want to be stepping up" in trying to deter North Korea's nuclear ambitions. Trump spoke to reporters on Air Force One on his way to a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping. While Trump would not say what he wants China to do specifically with regards to North Korea, he suggested there was a link between "terrible" trade agreements the U.S. has made with China and Pyongyang's provocations. He says the two issues "really do mix." The president has said that if China doesn't exert more pressure on North Korea, the U.S. will act alone.
PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping opened their high-stakes summit at Trump's Florida beach resort Thursday, with the urgent threat of North Korea's nuclear ambitions and tensions over trade on the agenda. Xi's visit was overshadowed, though, by a U.S. missile barrage on an air base in Syria in response to this week's chemical weapons attack against civilians, which the U.S. blamed on President Bashar Assad. The U.S. announced the missile attack shortly after Xi and his wife left the Mar-a-Lago estate Thursday night. Trump appeared lighthearted earlier Thursday as he greeted Xi at Mar-A-Lago, gesturing and pointing to journalists as they tussled to get a shot of the two leaders together for the first time.
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese state media say U.S. President Donald Trump has accepted an invitation from his Chinese counterpart to visit China later this year. The official Xinhua News Agency reported late Thursday that Trump will travel to China at an "early date" in 2017 but gave no details. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are holding their first meeting this week at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. During last year's election campaign and afterward, Trump talked tough about extracting better trade deals out of China and pressuring Beijing to do more to deter North Korea's nuclear program. Trump joked at a formal dinner with Xi on Thursday that he had "gotten nothing" in long talks with the Chinese president but said they had developed a friendly rapport.
BEIJING (AP) — China has condemned this week's deadly chemical weapons attack in Syria and says it supports an independent investigation under the United Nations. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Friday that China opposed the use of chemical weapons by any party under any circumstances. "We condemn the recent chemical attack in Syria, and we support the independent and comprehensive investigation conducted by the relevant U.N. agencies into ... the use or suspected use of chemical weapons so as to reach a conclusion that stands the test of history and facts on the basis of solid evidence," Hua said. "We have noted the latest developments.
BEIJING (AP) — Norway's prime minister began a visit to China on Friday as part of a restoration of full contacts between the two countries, more than six years after Beijing froze Oslo out over the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to an imprisoned Chinese dissident. Following a welcoming ceremony Friday, Erna Solberg was told by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang that, "Your visit symbolizes the normalization of China-Norwegian relationship." Solberg, who was accompanied by Foreign Minister Borge Brende and a trade delegation, replied that the normalization process would help the countries "find a lot of common areas of shared interests to work together." "China is playing a key role in the efforts to combat climate change, and I welcome the fact that this is high on Premier Li's agenda," a Norwegian government statement quoted Solberg as saying.
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — So you believe sports is a path to peace? If so, Pyongyang was the wrong place to be Friday, as the two Koreas — technically at war for nearly 70 years — faced off in a rare soccer match. On the field, Korean women fought to a 1-1 draw. But in the stands, more than 40,000 fans made clear the game didn't reflect a thaw in deeply troubled inter-Korean relations. There was the sound of tens of thousands of voices singing in praise of the North Korean fatherland. There were Pyongyang university students shouting slogans in near-perfect unison.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Security Council on Thursday strongly condemned North Korea's latest ballistic missile launch and demanded a halt to all missile tests, stressing again that they violate U.N. sanctions and "are significantly increasing tension in the region and beyond." A press statement agreed to by all 15 members expresses "utmost concern" at North Korea's "highly destabilizing behavior and flagrant and provocative defiance of the Security Council" by conducting the latest launch less than three weeks after the previous test. Council members said they "deplore" all North Korean ballistic missile activity, stressing that it contributes to the country's development of nuclear weapons delivery systems and diverts resources from the needs of its people.
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — A ferry boat capsized in Myanmar's Ayeyarwaddy delta, killing 20 people and leaving more than a dozen missing, police said. Thirty people were rescued after the ferry capsized in the Ngawun river at around 7:30 p.m. Friday, police officer Nay Lin Tun said. About 66 people were on the ferry, which capsized after colliding with a boat carrying gravel. The ferry was going from Pathein to Yakhinekone village. Most of the ferry's passengers were returning from a wedding ceremony. Boat accidents are fairly common in Myanmar, where many people travel by boat and government oversight is lax.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Police in the Maldives have arrested an opposition party leader on a charge of plotting to overthrow the government and remanded him for six days, a move the joint opposition condemned Friday as intensifying a crackdown on political opponents. Jumhooree Party leader and lawmaker Qasim Ibrahim had signed an agreement with others last month to try to restore democracy in the archipelago nation, and the joint opposition said his arrest was aimed at obstructing the work of the alliance, which it said has threatened the power of President Yameen Abdul Gayoom. Qasim was arrested Thursday evening on the charges of "attempting to influence no-confidence motions against the speaker of Parliament and deputy speaker" through bribing lawmakers and "plotting to overthrow the government and attempting to influence national security forces," according to the joint opposition's statement.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has selected Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai to be a U.N. messenger of peace, the highest honor bestowed by the U.N. chief on a global citizen. U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric announced Friday that the 19-year-old education advocate will focus worldwide attention on the need for all girls to go to school. She will be officially designated at a ceremony on Monday and then hold a conversation with Guterres and youth representatives from around the world on girls' education, he said. Yousafzai became the youngest-ever Nobel laureate in 2014, when she was recognized for her advocacy of the right of all children to education.