President Donald Trump hinted he’s open to resolving the North Korea crisis peacefully. But officials in Pyongyang say the damage is already done.
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When President Trump likely meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a summit in Vietnam, all eyes will be on how they interact and whether they can agree on contentious issues.
Trump and Putin could meet Friday or Saturday in Da Nang on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference.
Aboard Air Force One flying to Vietnam, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters no formal meeting is planned.
“Now, they’re going to be in the same place,” she said. “Are they going to bump into each other and say hello? Certainly possible and likely.”
Even before leaving last week for his 12-day Asia trip, Trump emphasized the significance of meeting with Putin, telling Fox News: “Putin is very important because they can help us with North Korea. They can help us with Syria. We have to talk about Ukraine.”
But any meeting comes amid an ongoing U.S. investigation of alleged collusion last year between Russia and Trump’s presidential campaign. So watch for any signs of awkward body language when they are together in public. The two leaders met for the first time in July at the G-20 summit in Hamburg.
Mike McFaul, a former U.S. ambassador to Russia who used to arrange such meetings for President Barack Obama, noted that Trump has a more casual style than professional politicians and openly praised Putin in the past.
“Considering the situation at home, I don’t think it helps for him to talk to Putin that way,” McFaul said. “He should focus on substance and more…