Major conflict a possibility says Trump

Created on: 28th April 2017

Major conflict a possibility says Trump

Donald Trump has said that a “major conflict” was possible with North Korea though he would prefer to solve the standoff over the country’s nuclear and missile programme through diplomacy. The US president told Reuters he would like to solve the crisis diplomatically but that it was "difficult" and a "major, major conflict" was possible.

Trump’s warning on Thursday came towards the end of a week where the administration has made a concerted effort to restrain Pyongyang from carrying out major new weapons tests. The UN Security Council is meeting to discuss North Korea on Friday. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said China informed the US it will impose sanctions on North Korea if it conducts further nuclear tests.

But in a wide-ranging interview with Reuters inside the Oval Office, Mr Trump - who met Mr Xi earlier this month - said the Chinese president "certainly doesn't want to see turmoil and death".

"He is a very good man and I got to know him very well.

"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," he said.

Of Mr Kim, he said: "He's 27 years old. His father dies, took over a regime. So say what you want but that is not easy, especially at that age."

But he stressed he was "not giving him credit", and added: "I hope he's rational."

The US secretary of state said that the North Korean regime viewed its nuclear weapons and missile programmes as a guarantee of survival, and that the Trump administration sought to change that mindset.

“We want to change that calculus of theirs and we have said to them: your pathway to survival and security is to eliminate your nuclear weapons and we and other countries will help you on the way to economic development,” Tillerson said. He assured Pyongyang that the US objective was ridding the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons, not toppling Kim Jong-un.

Posted by Amanda Hopkins

www.theguardian.com

www.bbc.co.uk

 

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