The New York Times reports, "President Trump said on Thursday that the United States would raise tariffs on $200 billion of worth of Chinese goods on Friday morning and begin the process to tax nearly all of China's imports as he accused Beijing of trying to 'renegotiate' a trade deal. But Mr. Trump, who made his comments ahead of a pivotal meeting between United States and Chinese officials on Thursday afternoon, suggested an agreement could still be within reach, saying he had received a 'beautiful letter' from Chinese President Xi Jinping and would probably speak to him by phone. 'I have no idea what's going to happen,' the president said in remarks at the White House. 'We're going to find out about China tonight, and I think in the end you're going to be very impressed.'"
The Washington Post reports, "The U.S. said Thursday that it has seized a North Korean cargo ship that was used to violate international sanctions, a first-of-its kind enforcement action that comes amid a tense moment in relations between the two countries. The 'Wise Honest,' North Korea's second largest cargo ship, was detained in April 2018 as it traveled toward Indonesia and is in the process of being moved to American Samoa, Justice Department officials said. Officials made the announcement hours after the North Korea fired two suspected short-range missiles toward the sea, a second weapons launch in five days and a possible signal that stalled talks over its nuclear weapons program are in trouble. The public disclosure that the vessel is now in U.S. custody may further inflame tensions, though U.S. officials said the timing of their complaint was not a response to the missile launch."
Reuters reports, "In fresh show of naval force in the contested South China Sea, a U.S. guided missile destroyer conducted drills with a Japanese aircraft carrier, two Indian naval ships and a Philippine patrol vessel in the waterway claimed by China, the U.S. Navy said on Thursday. While similar exercises have been held in the South China Sea in the past, the combined display by four countries represents a fresh challenge to Beijing as U.S. President Donald Trump threatens to hike tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. 'Professional engagements with our allies, partners and friends in the region are opportunities to build upon our existing, strong relationships,' Commander Andrew J. Klug, the captain of the U.S. destroyer, the USS William P. Lawrence, said in a statement. Japan sent one of its two big aircraft carriers, the Izumo, while India deployed a destroyer, the INS Kolkata, and a tanker, the INS Shakti."