President Donald Trump signaled his willingness to take on North Korea, regardless of whether China was willing to help the United States.
“If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will. That is all I am telling you,” Trump said in an interview with the Financial Times.
When asked if he could do it without China’s help, Trump replied, “Totally.”
Trump’s remarks signal a tough stance on the rogue nation ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit at Mar-a-lago this weekend. In recent years, American presidents looked to China to help contain the threat posed by North Korea.
“China has great influence over North Korea and China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won’t,” Trump said. “And if they do that will be very good for China, and if they don’t it won’t be good for anyone.”
North Korea routinely conducted weapons tests during the Obama administration, but officials took a policy of “strategic patience.”
Trump’s Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signaled that things would change in the new administration.
“Let me be very clear: the policy of strategic patience has ended,” Tillerson said during a news conference in South Korea last month. “We are exploring a new range of security and diplomatic measures. All options are on the table.”