President of the United States, Donald Trump, renewed a threat on Thursday to use military forces against North Korea. He doubted whether the negotiations with the North Korean leader about Pyongyang’s nuclear weaponry could be successful.
During a press conference, Trump stated: “Military action would certainly be an option. Is it inevitable? Nothing’s inevitable. It would be great if something else could be worked out. We would have to look at all of the details, all of the facts.”
Even though US officials are still willing to negotiate with North Korea, Donald Trump has lost the eagerness to discuss the topic any further, and he believes North Korea will not give up on its arsenal. The previous negotiations have failed, and now, North Korea has weapons and missiles that could reach the shores of the USA.
“We’ve had presidents for 25 years now, they’ve been talking, talking, talking, and the day after an agreement is reached, new work begins in North Korea” on its rogue nuclear weapons program, Trump said. “So I would prefer not going the route of the military, but it’s something certainly that could happen.”
The US wants the United Nations to impose sanctions against North Korea and its latest nuclear test, according to a draft resolution on Wednesday. The sanctions would freeze the government’s foreign financial assets, plus they would stop all oil and natural gas exports. North Korea is far from happy with this proposal and they consider it to be a threat.
The statement delivered at an Asian economic summit in Russia on Thursday read: “We will respond to the barbaric plotting around sanctions and pressure by the United States with powerful counter measures of our own.”
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi declared that Beijing was behind “measures” taken by the UN, but he was not clear whether China would back crippling economic sanctions such as fuel shipment halt. Trump requested China to “do more” on North Korea and after nuclear tests conducted on Sunday, he tweeted that Pyongyang has become a “threat and embarrassment to China,” in that way criticizing Chinese President Xi Jinping.
China doesn’t want to cut off the crude oil supply to North Korea in its entirety because they are afraid that if they take that kind of action, it could bring a lot of refugees to the Chinese border. Moreover, it would mark a political fall of China’s ally North Korea to US ally South Korea, giving the Americans significant advantage.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang told reporters: “Given the new developments on the Korean Peninsula, China agrees that the U.N. Security Council should respond further by taking necessary measures. We believe that sanctions and pressure are only half of the key to resolving the issue. The other half is dialogue and negotiation.”
In the meantime, Trump spoke at the White House alongside Sheikh Sabah Ahmed al-Sabah, the visiting Kuwait ruler, and he never mentioned sanctions. The US President didn’t rule out the eventual strategy of the country to contain North Korea’s nuclear weapons instead of eradicating them. He said that he would not bargain with North Korea in public.
“I don’t put my negotiations on the table, unlike past administrations. I don’t talk about them,” he said. “But I can tell you that North Korea’s behaving badly and it’s got to stop, Okay?”
One US official told the reporters that Trump was careful but that he wouldn’t demand anything less than for the North Korea to give up the nuclear weapons. The United States has been negotiating with North Korea for more than ten years, but the results are non-existent. “The president likes to keep his cards close to his chest, especially on matters of national security,” the senior administration official said. He also added: “I wouldn’t read too much into the absence of an assertion” and he agreed that North Korea must renounce its nuclear weapons.
The US adopted nuclear deterrence policy which relied on each nation’s interest in self-preservation to prevent either from launching a first strike. The official continued: “We are very concerned that North Korea might not be able to be deterred, that there are real differences between North Korea and the small, small group of nations that have these weapons.”
The US leaders are worried that North Korea may interpret the request as hollow and meaningless, which is why Trump and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis emphasized the strength of the US army.
“Our military has never been stronger,” Trump said Thursday. “Each day, new equipment is delivered; new and beautiful equipment, the best in the world — the best anywhere in the world, by far. Hopefully, we’re not going to have to use it on North Korea. If we do use it on North Korea, it will be a very sad day for North Korea.”
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert are in favor of negotiations under the right circumstances. Nauert said: “It will take time to help remove that money that the DPRK is getting, and which we believe is going to illegal nuclear and ballistic missile programs.”
The official said: “We’ve left the door open to talks with the North Koreans from the earliest days of this administration,” but he also added that Pyongyang responded with ballistic missile tests and thus provoked the US. “Their actions have spoken louder than words. It’s just not the time to negotiate with North Korea. That’s plainly clear to us.”