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Filipino strongman Duterte says Trump needs to "tone down" North Korea talk
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is not known for mincing words, but he said that President Trump needs to stop threatening North Korea. Duterte will talk North Korea strategy with Trump and other regional leaders in the coming month.
By Joyce Clark
Feb 22, 2018

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WASHINGTON D.C. — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has a reputation for tough talk. But even he thinks that President Trump needs to speak with better restraint when talking about North Korea. Duterte said in a televised speech this week that he wants Trump to stop threatening Kim Jong Un and to say clearly that the United States wants to live in peace with him.

"Tell him nobody's threatening him, that there will be no war,"Duterte said, referring to the North Korean leader. "If you can just tone down or stand down, stop the threats, that will be the same for America, just to assure him that nobody is after you."

Duterte will meet with Trump and the heads of state of Japan, China, and South Korea in November. They will all gather in Manila and will discuss the challenge of North Korea's weapons programs. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe talked about North Korea one-on-one in a meeting Monday, during which both men agreed to step up pressure on North Korea to halt its pursuit of nuclear arms and ballistic missiles.

Abe and Duterte have made a show of forging closer ties lately, with Abe visiting Duterte's home in Davao in January and refraining from criticizing Duterte's heavy-handed anti-drug campaign. Duterte has said that he will seek increased trade with Japan and Japan's aid in rebuilding Marawi City, a Philippine community that suffered heavy damage this year from combat with Islamic militants.

Duterte also looks forward to greater partnership with the United States. He said this week that he will "deal with President Trump in the most righteous way" and that the he and Trump would probably get along well at the personal level, as well: "We move our mouths in the same cadence, no?" he added.