WASHINGTON – The United States is prepared to respond to North Korean nuclear threats on its own if China fails to pressure Pyongyang, President Donald Trump said in an interview with the Financial Times on Sunday.
“Well if China is not going to solve North Korea, We will. That is all I am telling you,” he was quoted as telling the newspaper.
Trump will host Chinese President Xi Jinping this Thursday and Friday at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, where the two leaders are expected to discuss North Korea, China’s ambitions in the South China Sea and trade.
“China has great influence over North Korea. And China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won’t,” he was quoted as saying in the paper.
Trump’s Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland said there is a “real possibility” North Korea could be capable of hitting the United States with a nuclear-armed missile by the end of Trump’s first term, the newspaper reported.
Intelligence experts disagree with McFarland’s assessment and say North Korea’s ability to launch a nuclear missile is at least “years away.”