Breitbart News Executive Chairman and former White House Chief Strategist Stephen K. Bannon said the United States needs to pressure China to do more to achieve North Korean denuclearization.
In an exclusive interview Wednesday with NHK in Tokyo, he called North Korea a client state of China, and said the U.S. should continue pressuring China to take measures such as banning oil shipments to North Korea.
He told the Japanese outlet that all options are on the table, but that direct military options are “quite limited.”
Bannon was in Japan to speak at the 12th InterEthnic/InterFaith Leadership Conference in Tokyo.
The former chief strategist, who is still close with the president and speaks to him every couple of days, said President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have built a special bond and are very close. Trump has met with Abe more than any other world leader, Bannon noted.
Bannon also said that Trump has accomplished more in the region by engaging with Abe and other Asian leaders than his predecessor, former President Barack Obama in his eight years in office, despite his so-called “Pivot to Asia.”
Bannon said the relationship with Japan in important to keep China in check and said Japan was the U.S.’s oldest ally in the Pacific. He also said Trump’s Indo-Pacific strategy was about having great maritime powers such as the U.S., Japan, India, and Australia, act as a ring around China, but said he would not call it “containment.”
On trade with the region, Bannon said the U.S. would not re-enter the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal on its old terms, and said trade relations “should be reciprocal and balanced.”
Trump’s America First policy is to seek bilateral instead of multilateral deals, he told NHK, and the focus will be on U.S. trade negotiations with Japan and South Korea.