North Korea calls Trump's Asia tour 'a warmonger's trip'

North Korea's Foreign Ministry on Saturday issued its first official statement on U.S. President Donald Trump's trip to Asia, slamming Trump for trying to denuclearize the North.

Foreign ministry slams Trump for trying to denuclearize the North

In this undated file photo provided by the Korean Central News Agency on Nov. 4, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visits a factory. For the first time since U.S. President Donald Trump began his tour of Asia tied to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, North Korea's foreign ministry addressed the matter, calling it 'a warmonger's trip.' (Korean Central News Agency/Reuters)

North Korea's Foreign Ministry on Saturday issued its first official statement on U.S. President Donald Trump's trip to Asia, slamming Trump for trying to denuclearize the North.

The ministry said that Trump's trip to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit "is a warmonger's trip for confrontation with our country, trying to remove our self-defensive nuclear deterrent."

It accused Trump of trying to demonize North Korea, keep it apart from the international community and undermine its government.

The ministry said, "Reckless remarks by an old lunatic like Trump will never scare us or stop our advance. On the contrary, all this makes us more sure that our choice to promote economic construction at the same time as building up our nuclear force is all the more righteous, and it pushes us to speed up the effort to complete our nuclear force."

North Korea is not known to have tested any of its missiles or nuclear devices since Sept. 15, a relative lull after a brisk series of tests earlier this year.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made an agreement during a private meeting at the APEC summit on Saturday to work together more closely on North Korea. (Damir Sagoli/Jorge Silva/Reuters)

Japan and China hail 'fresh start'

But other leaders attending the summit have also made North Korea's aggression a top discussion point. 

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping hailed a "fresh start" to the relationship between the countries after a meeting that saw them agree to work more closely on North Korea.

Ties between China and Japan, the world's second- and third-largest economies, have been plagued by a long-running territorial dispute over a cluster of East China Sea islets.

"At the end of the meeting, President Xi said this is a meeting that marks a fresh start of relations between Japan and China. I totally feel the same way," Abe told reporters.

Abe said he has proposed visiting China at an appropriate time, which would then be followed by a Xi visit to Japan.

At the meeting, the two countries agreed to deepen their co-operation on North Korea and to hold a trilateral summit with South Korea at the earliest possible date.

With the North Korea situation at an important phase, the role China ought to play is very big,- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

"With the North Korea situation at an important phase, the role China ought to play is very big," Abe said. China and Japan have also agreed to accelerate talks for an early implementation of a communication mechanism between their military forces, Abe said. He also proposed that Japan and China co-operate in doing business in third countries.

China's statement about the meeting, released by the official Xinhua news agency, cited Xi as telling Abe that stable relations were in both sides' interests, and that they must make unremitting efforts to continue improving ties.

The two countries "must take constructive steps to appropriately manage and control disputes that exist between the two countries", Xi added.

South Korea and China seek 'stable' way forward 

Xi also came to an agreement with South Korea about de-escalation on the peninsula.

On Saturday he and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed to manage the security situation on the Korean peninsula in a stable way and to resolve North Korea-related tensions peacefully, the South's presidential office said.

The two countries will strengthen strategic talks on all levels, presidential spokesperson Yoon Young-chan told reporters in Danang, Vietnam, where a meeting was held on the sidelines the APEC summit.

Xi told Moon that he encouraged South Korea to resume dialogue with North Korea and re-engage with them for reconciliation and de-nuclearization, state news agency Xinhua reported.

China has been urged by both South Korea and the United States to take a more active role in curbing North Korea's nuclear and missile ambitions. Beijing has said it is complying with United Nations Security Council sanctions and doing all it can to curb the isolated state's provocative actions.

During Saturday's summit, Moon and Xi also agreed to quickly normalize bilateral exchanges in all sectors, Yoon added, repeating what was said in the agreement announced last month when the two countries agreed to end a yearlong standoff over the deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system.

South Korean companies with Chinese customers had suffered due to backlash from China, which has vehemently opposed the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.

Xi urged South Korea to take a "responsible attitude on THAAD that stands the test of history", Xinhua said. Xi was quoted as saying it would be "new beginnings and a good start" by Yoon.

Meanwhile, the two agreed for Moon to visit Xi in China in December to hold another round of summit talks, while Moon invited Xi to South Korea during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games, which falls in February next year, the spokesperson said.

With files from Reuters and CBC News