Published: Wed, April 05, 2017
Entertaiment | By Minnie Bishop

Can tough-talking Trump solve North Korea?

Can tough-talking Trump solve North Korea?

Both during his campaign and after his victory, Trump complained repeatedly over China's allegedly unfair trade practices, its perceived lack of assistance in reining in North Korea's nuclear ambitions and its drive to cement control over the South China Sea.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said the two resolutions are "concrete actions" to hold North Korea accountable for its actions and called former US President Barack Obama's policies towards Pyongyang a failure.

The US president, however, stopped short of talking about what possible measures Washington could take.

Trump has maintained tough rhetoric regarding US engagements in what he says are "bad trade deals" ever since announcing his presidential candidacy in June 2015. "You know, I am not the United States of the past where we tell you where we are going to hit in the Middle East". North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs have been advancing at an accelerated pace under Kim Jong-un's leadership.

Ms Haley described the US-China summit as "very, very important" to address the crisis over North Korea and that China had a key role to play to force Pyongyang to change course.

This combination of file photos show U.S. President Donald Trump, right, in a meeting at the White House in Washington, on March 31, 2017, and China's President Xi Jinping in a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijin. Xi will show up with a bag of political goodies for Trump, expected to include pledges of big, "tweetable" Chinese investments in the United States. Still, he said the United States could "totally" handle the situation in North Korea without China's help.

On Thursday, Trump predicted a "very difficult" summit with Xi, noting the disputes over trade policy between the world's leading economies.

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United Nations resolutions have failed so far to deter North Korea from conducting nuclear and missile tests.

"I heard from a North Korean trader that if we send a facsimile to Pyongyang, the recipient will have to pay 4 euros (U.S. $4.26), but recipients have to pay more for emails", he added, without providing an amount. The North conducted two nuclear tests and 24 ballistic missile tests past year, defying six Security Council sanctions resolutions banning any testing.

Asked what the US would do if China doesn't cooperate, Haley said: "China has to cooperate". "The options for solving it on our own are not very attractive, and they often flow to the military side, which needless to say is fraught with danger", Christopher Hill, the former USA ambassador to South Korea, told BBC Radio 4. "If the US could really take unilateral action against North Korea, it should have done so earlier, not waited until North Korea developed its nuclear program and missiles to this extent", Vivian Zhan, a politics professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, told The Guardian.

But that's from a bygone era when North Korean and Chinese officials would happily pose together during banquets but then they'd each go their separate ways, says Stone Fish.

"This is really to test Donald Trump's mettle", says Harry Kazianis, who directs defense studies at The Center for the National Interest. "However, given Trump's struggle with facts I suspect that Xi will also place greater value on US actions rather than words".

"All of Trump's contradictory rhetoric has put China somewhat off balance and that's not a bad thing", Schell said.

Said Professor Jia: "These, and reports about Chinese military modernisation, are probably getting into the heads of the American public, so they get the impression that China is building up its military".

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