Tue | Oct 17, 2017

Trump says US is ready to act alone on North Korea

Published:Monday | April 3, 2017 | 12:00 AM

United States President Donald Trump says that the US is prepared to act alone if China does not take a tougher stand against North Korea's nuclear programme.

Trump's comments in an interview with the Financial Times come just days before he is set to host Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Mar-a-Lago estate, in South Florida. The two are expected to discuss a number of issues, including North Korea, trade and territorial disputes in the South China Sea during their meeting on Thursday and Friday.

"Yes, we will talk about North Korea," Trump told the newspaper for a story that appeared yesterday on its website.

"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."

Trump said trade was the incentive for China to work with the United States. Still, he said, the United States could "totally" handle the situation in North Korea without China's help.

Asked how he would tackle 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 neighbour, it claims that its influence over Kim Jong-un's government is limited.

The relationship between the United States and China has been uncertain since Trump's election. During his campaign he accused China of unfair trade practices and threatened to raise import taxes on Chinese goods and declare Beijing a currency manipulator, though it is unclear whether Trump will follow through with either threat.

Trump told the newspaper that he doesn't "want to talk about tariffs yet, perhaps the next time we meet."