Tokyo – US President Donald Trump has hailed China for assisting the US in exerting pressure on North Korea.
In an interview with Fox News aired on Tuesday, Trump talked about his strong relations with Chinese President Xi Jinping and explained the reason behind dropping his past criticism of the Asian country.
“Now, what am I going to do? Start a trade war with China while in the middle of him working on a bigger problem, frankly, with North Korea?” Trump said.
“So, I’m dealing with China with great respect. I have great respect for him. Now, we’ll see what he can do,” he added.
During his presidential campaign, Trump attacked Beijing as a currency manipulator and threatened to impose 45 percent tariffs on Chinese imports.
“What am I going to do? In the middle of him talking with North Korea I’m going to hit them with currency manipulation? This is the fake media that just does a number,” he told Fox News.
Asked whether he had ruled out the possibility of launching a military strike against North Korea, Trump said he did not wish to reveal his plans.
“I don’t want to telegraph what I’m doing or what I’m thinking,” he stated.
“I hope there’s going to be peace, but they’ve been talking with this gentleman (Kim Jong-un) for a long time. You read (Bill) Clinton’s book and he said ‘Oh, we made such a great peace deal’ and it was a joke. You look at different things over the years with President Obama. Everybody has been outplayed. They’ve all been outplayed by this gentleman and we’ll see what happens,” Trump noted.
US experts believe that China enjoys the adequate economic and political influence to prevent Pyongyang from developing a long-range missile capable of hitting the US mainland with a nuclear warhead.
Meanwhile, US Vice President Mike Pence reiterated his country’s commitment to guarantee the security of Japan in facing North Korea’s threats.
Pence met in Tokyo with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, focusing on the US resolve to defend Japan and persuade China to assume a larger role in dealing with North Korea.
For his part, Abe called for a peaceful solution to the crisis with North Korea, as reported by AFP.
He also underlined the importance to exert diplomatic efforts and reach a peaceful compromise to the crisis.
“The era of strategic patience is over and while all options are on the table, President Trump is determined to work closely with Japan, with South Korea, with all our allies in the region and with China to achieve a peaceable resolution and the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” Pence said.