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Asia

President Trump on Monday pledged to stand by Japan against the "menace" of North Korea and said he hoped the two nations could come to a "free, fair and reciprocal" trade relationship.

Updated at 10:10 a.m. ET

With news from the special counsel's probe into Russian interference in the presidential election still swirling in Washington, President Trump is leaving Friday on his longest foreign trip to date.

The Asian odyssey will take him to five countries and two international summits. Trade issues and North Korea's nuclear threat are likely to dominate the discussions. Here's a quick primer on what to watch for at each stop:

Japan

Chinese President Xi Jinping proclaimed the arrival of "a new era" in which a reinvigorated Communist Party will lead his nation to modernity, wealth and power as he opened the 19th national congress of China's ruling Communist Party on Wednesday.

The meeting is expected to give him a second five-year term.

Xi's speech, delivered in the cavernous Great Hall of the People overlooking Beijing's Tiananmen Square, lasted for 3 1/2 hours and traced the broad outlines of his vision and the party's policies.

North Korea's foreign minister says President Trump's tweets about the Korean nation amount to a declaration of war and that under international law, his country can legally shoot down U.S. military planes — even if they're not in North Korea's airspace.

Updated at 3:36 p.m. ET

President Trump ordered new economic sanctions Thursday against any bank or other company doing business with North Korea, in response to Pyongyang's renegade nuclear program.

The move is designed to tighten the economic screws on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, in hopes of halting his development of nuclear warheads and the missiles to deliver them.

John Pavelka / Creative Commons

In his first address to the United Nations, President Trump used fighting words to respond to North Korea.

A narrow majority of Americans don't trust President Trump to handle the conflict with North Korea, according to a new NPR/Ipsos poll.

The findings come as the president and his diplomatic team prepare for the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week, where North Korea's renegade nuclear program will be a major focus.

Updated at 9:50 p.m. ET Thursday

Japanese and South Korean officials have confirmed another missile test by North Korea Friday morning local time. This is the 15th North Korean missile test this year and the first to come after Pyongyang tested its most powerful nuclear bomb yet.

John Pavelka / Creative Commons

Sunday’s nuclear test out of Pyongyang, North Korea triggered a high-profile response from U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.

Wander / Creative Commons

Connecticut has become overconfident that money would always be found to pay the bills. For the first time, the state is realizing we can't pay the bills for pensions and retirement and infrastructure that we've put off for decades to spend on other things. 

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley tells the U.N. Security Council that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is "begging for war," with the latest nuclear test that Pyongyang says is its first fusion device, a much more powerful weapon than it has exploded in the past.

"Enough is enough. War is never something the United States wants. We don't want it now. But our country's patience is not unlimited," Haley told an emergency session of the 15-member Security Council in New York.

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET

An international air-sea rescue has been launched in waters off Singapore for 10 missing U.S. sailors after a collision between the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker.

North Korea is issuing fresh threats against the United States as a 10-day computer-based military exercise gets under way on the Korean peninsula. It's an annual joint drill between American and South Korean forces, but this year, it comes following a bitter back-and-forth between North Korea and U.S. President Donald Trump.

NASA's Earth Observatory / Creative Commons

Guam came into America's consciousness this past week as the war of words between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un threatened the island of Guam with nuclear annihilation. The rhetoric has since cooled but America is more aware of how little they really know about Guam or how much the legacy of war is part of their daily life. 

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reviewed his military's plans to rain "an enveloping fire" around the U.S. territory of Guam — but opted not to fire missiles at this time, according to state media. Despite the stand-down, some Guamanians were alarmed after two radio stations aired an erroneous emergency alert Tuesday.

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