People walk by a TV news program showing Twitter of U.S. President Donald Trump while reporting North Korea's nuclear test, in Tokyo, Monday, Sept. 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
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U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter following North Korea's strongest-ever nuclear test explosion to criticize both Koreas and China.Following the clearest sign yet that North Korea is fast approaching a viable arsenal of nuclear-tipped missiles capable of hitting the U.S. mainland, Trump again skipped what for decades has been the bedrock of U.S. policy on the Korean Peninsula: A firm assurance that the United States would defend South Korea against any attack.Trump, for instance, previously questioned the expensive stationing of U.S. troops in South Korea and Japan, and suggested that Seoul and Tokyo pursue nukes themselves, instead of relying on the so-called U.S. nuclear umbrella.Then came Trump's five tweets after the nuclear test that criticized North Korea's main ally and aid provider, China, for failing to contain the North; South Korea's liberal president for "talk of appeasement" (despite what many see as a consistent hard line toward the North's weapons tests) and, of course, "rogue" North Korea.Nowhere did he seek to reassure a frazzled South Korea that the United States would have its back if attacked.
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