President Donald Trump said he will deal with the increasingly aggressive North Korean state with or without the help of the Chinese government.
“China has great influence over North Korea. And China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won’t,” Trump told the Financial Times in an exclusive Sunday interview.
“Well if China is not going to solve North Korea, we will. That is all I am telling you,”
Trump said it would be mutually beneficial for China to help stop North Korea.
“If they do, that will be very good for China, and if they don’t, it won’t be good for anyone,” he added.
Trump said he would discuss the North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile programs during his scheduled meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping later this week at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, where he hopes the two leaders can strike a deal to pressure Pyongyang.
Trump, who repeatedly said he wants to renegotiate U.S. trade deals with China, declined to say which topic he would first discuss with the president of China.
But he said trade is the incentive he plans to use to strike a deal with China, emphasizing “it is all about trade.”
Deputy White House national security adviser KT McFarland told FT in a separate interview that North Korea poses a serious security risk to the country.
“There is a real possibility that North Korea will be able to hit the U.S. with a nuclear-armed missile by the end of the first Trump term,” McFarland said.
Trump has repeatedly criticized China’s trade policy, accusing it of “currency manipulation” and imposing unfair exchange rates.
Trump tweeted last week that it will be “very difficult” for him to meet with Xi, but expressed hope in the Sunday interview that the two countries can make deals.
“I have great respect for him. I have great respect for China. I would not be at all surprised if we did something that would be very dramatic and good for both countries and I hope so,” Trump told the newspaper.
Trump said he would “totally” go up against North Korea one-on-one.
“I don’t have to say any . Totally,” he said.