The Trump administration made clear diplomatic efforts to talk North Korea out of a nuclear confrontation and for North Korea to restrain itself from provocative actions. As North Korea continues to defy UN sanctions by proceeding with their nuclear and missile programs, President Donald Trump has warned that there is an absolute chance that the U.S. could have a “major, major conflict” with North Korea.
“There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea.”
However, Trump said he would much rather prefer a diplomatic outcome to the current dispute. Trump’s stance on North Korea’s defiance was revealed to Reuters during an Oval Office interview on Thursday.
“There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely… We’d love to solve things diplomatically but it’s very difficult.”
Trump praised President Xi Jinping for China’s assistance in trying to rein in North Korea, calling him “a good man.” The two leaders came together in a meeting in the state of Florida earlier this month.
“I believe he is trying very hard. He certainly doesn’t want to see turmoil and death. He doesn’t want to see it. He is a good man. He is a very good man and I got to know him very well.
“With that being said, he loves China and he loves the people of China. I know he would like to be able to do something, perhaps it’s possible that he can’t.”
Trump spoke just one day after he and his national security advisers briefed lawmakers on the very real dangers of North Korea.
It is during this meeting that Tillerson said he would stress the need for members to fully implement existing sanctions as well as navigate the next possible steps.
On Thursday, Tillerson said that China had asked North Korea to refrain from conducting nuclear tests in the future. According to Reuters, Beijing had also warned Pyongyang it would impose unilateral sanctions if it went ahead.
It is unknown when China made the request to North Korea.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang asked about Tillerson’s remarks on North Korea. However, he would not say what actions China would take if there were a new nuclear test conducted by North Korea.
“We oppose any behavior that goes against Security Council resolutions. I think this position is very clear. This is what we have told the United States. I think North Korea is also very clear about this position.”
Back in February, China banned imports of North Korean coal. This is one of North Korea’s most important exports. This month, Chinese media raised the possibility of restricting oil shipments to the North in the case of future provocations.
Geng said Friday’s UN meeting should not fixate on new sanctions.
“If the meeting only focuses on increasing sanctions and pressure, I think this will not only lose a rare opportunity, it may also exacerbate the confrontation between all sides and may damage efforts to promote peace and talks.”
North Korea Nuclear War Provocations
In March of 2017, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the U.S. has tried for 20 years to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear program but has failed, according to the New York Times. The Trump administration made clear diplomatic efforts to talk North Korea out of a nuclear confrontation and for North Korea to restrain itself from provocative actions.
Tillerson said as proof of America’s non-conflictual intent against North Korea, the U.S. has provided $1.3 billion in assistance to the country since 1985. In return, North Korea has detonated nuclear weapons and increased its capability to launched ballistic missiles to threaten the U.S. and its allies, according to ABC News.
[Featured Image by Michael Reynolds/AP Images]