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Trump Arrives in China

Former U.S. ambassador to South Korea Kathleen Stephens spoke on "Bloomberg Daybreak: Asia" about President Trump's Asia trip on the eve of his arrival in China.

Stephens noted that in canceling a trip to the DMZ--more or less a presidential tradition on visits to Korea--Trump did the "right thing" by instead focusing on the "must-do" on this first trip of reassuring South Koreans on the U.S. commitment to its alliance with the Republic of Korea.

Both North Korean and Trump administration rhetoric seems to have cooled off in recent days; Stephens noted that Trump seems to have "gotten the message" about the importance of the relationship with South Korea and the level of nervousness in the country. 

Ambassador Stephens commented on the feasibility of beginning talks with North Korea and what additional pressure might be required to get the North to the table. She noted that if denuclearizing were a precondition for talks, they wouldn't happen.

She speculated on what President Trump might ask the Chinese to do to up the pressure on North Korea, for example, cutting off oil exports. She also suggested that when it comes to talking about trade, the emphasis might be on announcing deals and Trump might act as "salesman-in-chief."

The full interview is available on Bloomberg TV.