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>> Well, the President understands the threat that North Korea poses, and he will do whatever is necessary.>> The White House doubling down Monday, on President Donald Trump's decision to invite Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to Washington. Criticism mounting from human rights groups, which say Duterte has supported an anti-drug crackdown that has killed more than 8,000 Filipinos.
The Administration brushing off concerns that the United States is backpedaling on human rights, as it rallies Asian countries to rein in North Korea's nuclear ambitions. Reporter Matt Spetalnick is following the story in Washington.>> President Duterte's rhetoric on his support for the anti-drug campaign has been particularly vitriolic.
He even boasted back last year, publicly, of having had personal involvement in some of the killings. There has been no independent confirmation of that. But that has further raised the heckles of the human rights community against him.>> The bottom line is the President's gonna do what he has to do.
And right now, he's building a coalition in the region to isolate North Korea both economically and diplomatically to take that threat down.>> But it's not clear if Duterte will take up Trump's invitation, telling reporters that his schedule is packed. Meanwhile, Trump reaching out to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as well.
Calling him a, quote, smart cookie in one TV interview. And saying in another he would be, quote, honored to meet him in person if certain conditions are met.>> But we wanna hold out the possibility that if North Korea were ever serious about completely dismantling its nuclear capability.
And taking away the threat that they pose both to the region and to us, that there's always gonna be a possibility of that occurring.>> China is, of course, the lynchpin in any effort to curb or restrain North Korea's nuclear and missile programs. The Southeast Asian partners maintain a much lesser level of involvement with North Korea.
But the United States believe they can still be helpful.>> So what do I need for America for?>> Duterte blasted former President Barack Obama for calling him out on human rights. Reuters uncovering evidence in Duterte's drug crackdown. That police are relying on flawed data to seek out suspects and summarily killing them once they are found.