Trump Tweet Suggests He No Longer Thinks China Can Pressure North Korea
President Trump posted a tweet yesterday (June 20th) that suggests he's given up on the hope that China might be able to pressure North Korea to change its behavior, saying: “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!”
Trump's tweet came in the wake of the death of American college student Otto Warmbier, who died just days after being returned to the U.S. in a persistent vegetative state following 17 months of captivity in North Korea. Warmbier had been sentenced to 15 years of hard labor early last year after being accused of trying to take a propaganda banner. Warmbier's death comes as the North has continued its missile launches and its nuclear program, as well as its bellicose talk against the U.S. and the West.
Politico noted that Trump had previously said that China, which is the North's main benefactor, could, quote, "solve the North Korean problem," but told the Financial Times earlier that month that the U.S. would deal with North Korea either way. He said, "Well if China is not going to solve North Korea, we will. That is all I am telling you."
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