Donald Trump arrived Tuesday afternoon in South Korea, the second of five nations on his Asian itinerary this week and next.
Air Force One landed at the Osan Air Base shortly after noon, greeted by a 21-cannon salute and a full honor guard.
The president shook hands with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, kissed first lady Melania goodbye and boarded a military helicopter with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
The pair had a short hop to Camp Humphreys, a nearby U.S. Army garrison where he’s scheduled for a visit with servicemen and women.
The president saluted and greeted both American and South Korean military officers and senior enlisted personnel before boarding an armored limousine for a short ride across the tarmac to a waiting lunch.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in joined him there inside a mess hall. ‘Hello everybody!’ Trump boomed after he was greeted by applause. ‘Good food,’ he said.
The presidents stayed only a short time at the lunch, and were photographed without trays of food in front of them. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted that Trump ‘dine[d]’ with the troops, however.
Trump then headed for a military operational readiness briefing and a chopper ride to Seoul, where he will sit down with Moon at the Blue House, the nation’s presidential mansion. The pair will hold a joint press conference later in the day.
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrived Tuesday afternoon in South Korea, the second of five nations on his Asian itinerary this week and next
Trump will be in the Seoul area for barely 24 hours, but he will cast a 6-foot, 2-inch shadow on the communist nation to the north.
He has clear differences with Moon, both on managing the North Korean nuclear standoff and on tense negotiations over a trade deal that the White House says harms American workers.
Either crisis would be fodder enough for bilateral talks, a joint press conference and a speech to South Korea’s National Assembly.
But the one-two punch will make Trump’s brief time in the Land of the Morning Calm unlike his two-day stop in Japan, a longer stop that already has South Koreans feeling like Trump is playing favorites.
Trump shook hands with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha upon arrival; President Moon is scheduled to meet him later
South Korea hosts more than 28,000 U.S. military troops and counts on the United States to insulate it from potential North Korean attacks.
And America needs open economic exchange lanes with the nation, which is its sixth-largest trade partner – but Trump wants it on his terms.
The U.S. is South Korea’s second-biggest partner, after only China.