(CNN) US President Donald Trump says he stands ready to fix the nuclear threat posed by North Korea — with or without China.
Trump, who will meet with China’s President at his Mar-A-Lago estate this week, declared Sunday that he would be willing to go it alone to restrain the secretive country’s nuclear weapons program should Beijing fail to act.
“If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will,” Trump told the Financial Times in an interview.
Trump didn’t elaborate on exactly how he plans to stop North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un from developing his arsenal, and some analysts have suggested his cryptic comments could be simply be a way to unbalance Xi Jinping ahead of Thursday and Friday’s landmark summit.
However, taking cooperation with China, North Korea’s main ally and economic benefactor, out of the equation could lead to a much-needed change in dynamics with the provocative North Korean regime, said Anthony Ruggiero, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
“Waiting for China to pressure North Korea didn’t work for Bush, it didn’t work for Obama and it won’t work for Trump. We just don’t have the same priorities,” he said.
To date, US policy has focused on multilateral efforts — six-country talks and United Nations sanctions — plus waiting out the Kim regime in a policy known as strategic patience. But all these have had little effect, with North Korea ramping up its missile and nuclear programs since 2016.
So what might unilateral US action on North Korea look like?
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