Washington, DC. President Donald Trump has again escalated the volatile Korean missile standoff with nuclear armed North Korea by predicting a “possible major-major conflict,” as the American leader put it to reporters today.

American President Donald Trump stated Thursday a major conflict with North Korea is possible in the standoff over its nuclear and missile programs, but he would prefer a diplomatic outcome to the dispute.

“There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely,” Trump told reporters in an Oval Office interview ahead of his 100th day in office on Saturday.

Trump said he wanted to peacefully resolve a crisis that has been problematic for multiple presidents, a path that he and his administration are exacerbaiting by preparing a variety of new economic sanctions while not taking the military option off the table.

The President also says he wants South Korea to pay the cost of the US anti-missile defence system, which he estimated at $1 billion, and intends to renegotiate or terminate a US free trade pact with South Korea because of a deep trade deficit with Seoul. Asked when he would announce his intention to renegotiate the pact, Trump said: “Very soon. I’m announcing it now.”

Trump, asked if he considered North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to be rational, said he was operating from the assumption that he is rational. He noted that Kim had taken over his country at an early age.

“He’s 27 years old. His father dies, took over a regime. So say what you want but that is not easy, especially at that age.”I’m not giving him credit or not giving him credit, I’m just saying that’s a very hard thing to do. As to whether or not he’s rational, I have no opinion on it. I hope he’s rational,” he said.

Trump then explained why he can not act without first getting China involved in the situation,”My problem is that I have established a very good personal relationship with President Xi,” said Trump. “I really feel that he is doing everything in his power to help us with a big situation. So I wouldn’t want to be causing difficulty right now for him, so I would certainly want to speak to him first.”

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