President Trump says North Korea has 'gotta behave'

Trump has said some USA trading partners, particularly China, manipulated their currency, but has since backed off that claim and acknowledged that China had not weakened the yuan to make its exports cheaper.

Later in the week, the US Treasury Department did not label China a currency manipulator in its semi-annual report on global currency practices. The countries - China, Japan, Germany, South Korea, Taiwan and Switzerland - were the same six named in the last currency report issued by the Obama administration in October.

Trump repeatedly pledged in his election campaign to name China as a currency manipulator on his first day in office - prompting fears of a trade war - but did not do so.

While China has reportedly suspended package tours to North Korea, British travel company Koryo Tours said it would keep sending tourists to the North.

Trump's national security adviser said on Sunday that the United States, its allies and China are working together on a range of responses to North Korea.

Taiwan's Central Bank said Saturday that the results have been anticipated by the bank so the latest USA currency report is unlikely to impose any material adverse impact on the local foreign exchange market.

Trump's about-face was notable because of how forceful he was in his insistence as recently as this month that China was a currency manipulator.

Many economists have argued that the Chinese currency, RMB, has been at equilibrium level in recent years.

According to the official, through that mechanism they will try to boost US exports and the reduction of the commercial deficit of Washington with Beijing, criticized once and again by Trump since his stage as Republican candidate to the presidency. The designation means there will be intense talks between the U.S. and the labeled country and can lead to tariffs imposed by the US. All five of these countries were also on the list in the previous report.

In a statement, the Treasury said the findings and recommendations of the Report are meant to combat potentially unfair currency practices and support the growth of free and fair trade.

Last week the United States dropped one of the biggest conventional bombs in its arsenal - a 22,000-pound behemoth - on an Islamic State cave and tunnel network in Afghanistan, an action that captured worldwide attention.

A weaker currency makes exports cheaper compared with those of competitors. But the US Treasury concluded China was doing the opposite, preventing its yuan from falling against the dollar and other currencies.

The reversal on branding China a currency manipulator is among several changes in which Trump has softened tough stances he had taken during the campaign.

Trump may still decide to go after China on trade if the latter fails to uphold its end of the bargain on North Korea.

Meanwhile, the Trump Administration has made a theme of ramping up political pressure on North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

  • Leroy Wright