The United States is prepared to act unilaterally to tackle the North Korean nuclear threat if China fails to help, President Donald Trump warned in an interview with the Financial Times.
Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are to meet for the first time in Florida on April 6-7, when the two are expected to discuss North Korea, tensions in the South China Sea and disagreements over trade.
Trump said he would discuss the growing threat of Pyongyang’s nuclear programme with Xi.
“China has great influence over North Korea. And China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won’t,” Trump said.
“If they do, that will be very good for China, and if they don’t, it won’t be good for anyone.”
The US would tackle North Korea even without China’s help, the president said.
“Well if China is not going to solve North Korea, we will. That is all I am telling you,” Trump was quoted as saying.
North Korea conducted two nuclear tests last year alone and is believed to be developing a nuclear missile capable of reaching the US.
“There is a real possibility that North Korea will be able to hit the US with a nuclear-armed missile by the end of the first Trump term,” KT McFarland, deputy White House national security adviser, told the FT in a separate interview.
China has been calling for the resumption of six-nation talks on North Korea’s de-nuclearisation.
Watch: Congresswoman Maxine Waters criticises the US President’s stance on China and North Korea