WASHINGTON – As tensions escalate over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, the White House announced Friday that President Trump will travel to Asia in early November, with stops in China and South Korea.

The Nov. 3-14 schedule includes visits to Japan and to economic conferences in Vietnam and the Philippines, and trade will be a major topic of the president’s talks with Asian leaders.

Trump “will participate in a series of bilateral, multilateral, and cultural engagements” to demonstrate “his continued commitment to the alliances and partnerships of the United States in the region,” the White House said in a statement.

Topping the agenda: Trump’s demands that other nations, especially China, help the U.S. pressure North Korea into giving up its nuclear weapons program.

Last week at the United Nations, Trump vowed to “totally destroy” Kim Jong Un’s country if the U.S. was forced to defend itself or its allies, and referred to the North Korea leader as “Rocket Man.”

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The White House, as it announced the trip, said Trump will seek to “strengthen the international resolve to confront the North Korean threat and ensure the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” North Korea, meanwhile, has said that Trump’s rhetoric amounts to a declaration of war and it will act accordingly.

Trump, who has complained about various U.S. trade deals with other countries, will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam and and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in the Philippines.

At his various stops, Trump “will also emphasize the importance of fair and reciprocal economic ties with…