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Trump lands in Hawaii to more protests than cheers ahead of trip to Asia

Jaweed Kaleem, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Political News

HONOLULU -- President Donald Trump arrived Friday afternoon in Hawaii, landing at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam ahead of a nearly two-week trip to five Asian nations focusing on trade and security.

Trump, who is visiting the state for the first time since his inauguration, was greeted by Gov. David Ige before starting a one-night stay in Honolulu that includes visits to military officials at Pacific Command, a tour of Pearl Harbor and a wreath ceremony at the Arizona memorial. First lady Melania Trump is joining the president during his travels.

A small number of Trump supporters and many anti-Trump protesters are expected to demonstrate on the streets as the president makes his way to sites around the city before sleeping at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in tourist-heavy Waikiki.

A coalition of civil rights groups planned to protest the president Friday in front of the state Capitol, and another anti-Trump demonstration was expected Saturday. Trump's approval ratings in Democratic-run Hawaii, which has filed multiple lawsuits that blocked his travel ban, are among his lowest in the nation.

The president's trip comes amid growing tensions in the Pacific over nuclear threats from North Korea. Trump's agenda for his stop in Hawaii includes a meeting with governors from five U.S. states and territories that are among those most vulnerable to attack from the rogue nation.

Trump's Friday schedule includes face-time with governors of Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands to discuss concerns about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Kim has threatened to bomb Guam, and Trump has suggested that the U.S. may attack North Korea.

Tensions have especially grown in Hawaii, which next month will start testing a statewide bomb warning system that hasn't been used since the Cold War. Emergency preparedness officials in the state are holding seminars for residents in case North Korea develops the capability to hit it with missiles.

The president is scheduled to depart Saturday morning for Japan, where he will meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and attend state events before traveling to South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. In Asia, Trump will join meetings with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders group and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

(c)2017 Los Angeles Times

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