President Donald Trump raised the issue of North Korea with Chinese leadership Saturday, warning it will be resolved “one way or another.”
He met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 Summit. After exchanging pleasantries, Trump turned the conversation to North Korea, which stunned the world Tuesday with the successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
The president explained to his Chinese counterpart that “something has to be done about” North Korea, according to a White House pool report.
“It may take longer than I’d like, it may take longer that you’d like” Trump said, “but there will be success in the end one way or the other.” The administration had hoped that China would take steps to rein in North Korea, but the president has grown frustrated as limited efforts have failed to rectify the problem.
After the meeting in Mar-a-Lago, Fla., in April between Trump and Xi, he expressed confidence that China would make an effort to address the North Korean nuclear weapon and ballistic missile threat and resolve the crisis on the Korean peninsula.
I have great confidence that China will properly deal with North Korea. If they are unable to do so, the U.S., with its allies, will! U.S.A.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2017
China suspended coal imports and put a certain degree of diplomatic pressure on the regime. Beijing, however, repeatedly countered calls for greater Chinese efforts by stressing that it is neither the cause nor crux of the current situation, even though China remains the country’s largest benefactor, regularly facilitating trade and financial transactions in violation of international sanctions.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has caught several Chinese companies and banks, such as Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Development Co., Ltd. and Dandong Bank, helping North Korea through illicit trade and financial operations. The U.S. has blacklisted a number of Chinese firms, angering Beijing in each case.
After Otto Warmbier, an American university student detained in North Korea for over a year, returned home in a coma and then died a week later, Trump tweeted that China tried but failed to resolve the North Korea issue.
While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 20, 2017
In the wake of North Korea’s ICBM test, Trump hinted on Twitter that cooperation with China has been a waste of time, as the latter continues to trade with the North, potentially empowering the regime.
Trade between China and North Korea grew almost 40% in the first quarter. So much for China working with us – but we had to give it a try!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 5, 2017
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley put the world on notice Wednesday, warning countries not to engage in illicit trade with North Korea. She made it clear to China that irresponsible trade with North Korea could put its trade with the U.S. in jeopardy.
Some “countries would also like to continue their trade arrangements with the United States,” she stated firmly. “That’s not going to happen. Our attitude on trade changes when countries do not take international security threats seriously.”
While speaking with Xi on Saturday, Trump reminded him that trade “is a very very big issue for the United States” without going into more detail.
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