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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during an arrival honor at Manila's international airport, Philippines, May 24, 2017 (AP photo by Aaron Favila).

Trump’s Bromance With Duterte Is a Risky Foundation for U.S.-Philippine Ties

Friday, May 26, 2017

This past week, Southeast Asia observers have been buzzing over a leaked transcript of a phone call, made in April, between U.S. President Donald Trump and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. In the call, the two men spoke of each other warmly, with Trump praising Duterte’s brutal drug war in the Philippines. Trump told Duterte he was “doing an unbelievable job on the drug problem,” and invited him to the White House.

Trump also seemed to ask Duterte, hardly a specialist on Northeast Asia, for advice on how to deal with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and his nuclear and missile arsenal. Trump even let slip that the U.S. had moved two nuclear submarines toward the Korean Peninsula. ...

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