Washington. In remarks to a Financial Times reporter, US President Donald Trump indicated the USA is now prepared to take military action on its own against North Korea if they wish to do so.
The comments came in advance of a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping at Trump’s Florida estate.”Yes, we will talk about North Korea,” Trump said. “And China has great influence over North Korea. And China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won’t. And if they do that will be very good for China, and if they don’t it won’t be good for anyone.”
While China provides diplomatic and economic support to its neighbor, it claims that its influence over Kim Jong Un’s government is limited.
The relationship between the US and China has been unclear since President Trump’s election. During his campaign he accused Beijing of unfair trade practices and threatened to raise import taxes on Chinese goods and declare China a currency manipulator.
Asked how he would tackle North Korea, he responded, “I’m not going to tell you. You know, I am not the United States of the past where we tell you where we are going to hit in the Middle East.”
The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, also offered tough talk on China, saying on ABC’s This Week that the US is pushing Beijing to take a firmer stand on North Korea’s nuclear programme.
UN resolutions have failed so far to deter North Korea from conducting nuclear and missile tests. Last year, the North conducted two nuclear tests and two dozen tests of ballistic missiles.
“They need to show us how concerned they are,” Ms Haley said. “They need to put pressure on North Korea. The only country that can stop North Korea is China, and they know that.”
Asked what the US would do if China did not co-operate, she said: “China has to co-operate.” This has caused experts to conclude that if China does not act, the US may use force to resolve the matter.