POTOMAC FALLS: President Donald Trump has said that the United States was ready to act alone if China did not want to go for solving the nuclear threat from North Korea.
Trump shared these views during an interview with the Financial Times days before Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to visit U.S.
Both are expected to discuss a various issues, including North Korea, trade and territorial disputes in the South China Sea during their meeting on Thursday and Friday.
Trump told the newspaper, “And China has great influence over North Korea. And China will either choose 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 would not be good for anyone.”
He further said that the United States could alone handle the situation in North Korea without China’s assistance.
Asked how he would solve the matter of North Korea, Trump said: “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.”
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 United States and China has been shaky since Trump’s election. During his campaign he accused China of carrying out unfair trade practices and threatened to increase import taxes on Chinese goods and declared Beijing a currency manipulator.
On March 17, the U.S. gave a clear message to North Korea on its escalating nuclear weapons’ programme that pre-emptive military action is an “option on the table”.
During his visit to South Korea, Washington’s top diplomat Rex Tillerson said that the country’s “strategic patience” with N. Korea was over, adding that option was on the table if threats from the rogue regime escalated.
Tillerson’s visit comes after a missile test-fired last week that Pyongyang termed as a drill for an attack on US bases in Japan.
The US has 28,000 troops deployed in South Korea to keep it safe from the North, but the capital Seoul is within range of Pyongyang’s artillery.