Obama aides push back against criticism of inaction on Syria

In a letter addressed to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate president pro tempore Orrin Hatch, Trump gave details on the missile strike on the Shayrat military airfield, launched in retaliation for an apparent chemical attack.

The call comes on the heels of Trump's two-day summit with China's President Xi Jinping during which North Korea's nuclear activities was at the forefront of their discussions.

"Trump's attack on Syria is unlikely to have any significant effect on a North Korea that is already well versed in the threat posed by the United States", said Joel Wit, a senior fellow at the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University.

The former administration's unwillingness to use force and follow through on its warnings is believed to be behind the expansion of Chinese power in the South China Sea, and the previous president's policy of "strategic patience" did little to curb North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

Syria denies it carried out the attack.

"That is probably prudent", said Lou Fisher, a constitutional scholar and author of Presidential War Power.

In more than one way, the leaders of the world's two largest economies found common ground in southern Florida.

KCNA said its leader, Kim Jong-un, and Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad exchanged messages of warm wishes and pledges of friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

At the time, several American ships in the Mediterranean were poised to launch missiles, only for Obama to abruptly pull back after key U.S. ally Britain and the U.S. Congress balked at his plan.

Asked if the attack on Syria could be seen as a message to Pyongyang, Tillerson told ABC: "The message that any nation can take is: 'If you violate global norms, if you violate worldwide agreements, if you fail to live up to commitments, if you become a threat to others, at some point a response is likely to be undertaken".

The South Korean spokesman said the government's current policy of focusing on sanctions and pressure against North Korea is part of a broader process to use dialogue in solving the North Korean issues.

U.S. warships in the Mediterranean fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles about 3:40am Syria time on Friday at the airfield located near Homs in central Syria.

Assad "may think he has the same option he took in September 2013: set the chemicals to the side and return to barrel bombs, gravity bombs, artillery shells, missiles, and mortar rounds against civilians in their homes, hospitals, marketplaces, and schools", Hof said in a post on the Atlantic Council's website.

Standing firm, the Trump administration on Friday signaled new sanctions would soon follow the missile attack, and the Pentagon was even probing whether Russian Federation itself was involved in the chemical weapons assault that compelled President Donald Trump to action.

"It seems that Western countries, especially the USA, do not favor incremental but orderly reforms in non-Western countries and are prone to support chaotic revolutions in these countries", the state-run Global Times said in an editorial Thursday.

Trump tweeted from his resort at Mar-a-Lago, after spending more than five hours Saturday at the nearby Trump International Golf Club.

Trump has also accepted Xi's invitation to visit China.

  • Leroy Wright