Trump: ‘Very Possible’ That Tensions With North Korea Won’t Be Resolved Peacefully

Donald Trump has said that it’s “very possible” that the standoff with North Korea won’t be resolved peacefully.

In an exclusive Oval Office interview with Reuters on Wednesday Trump added that he is not sure if the talks will lead to “anything meaningful” since they have been going on for 25 years now.

He said “I’d sit down, but I‘m not sure that sitting down will solve the problem”

His remarks follow a statement earlier in January, in which Trump said he was “absolutely” willing to talk on the phone to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un if certain conditions were met.

CNBC reports:

He declined to comment when asked whether he had engaged in any communications at all with Kim, with whom he has exchanged public insults and threats, heightening tensions in the region.

Trump said he hoped the standoff with Pyongyang could be resolved “in a peaceful way, but its very possible that it cant.”

Trump praised China for its efforts to restrict oil and coal supplies to North Korea but said Beijing could do much more to help constrain Pyongyang.

The White House last week welcomed news that imports to China from North Korea, which counts on Beijing as its main economic partner, plunged in December to their lowest in dollar terms since at least the start of 2014.

He declined to comment when asked whether he had engaged in any communications at all with Kim, with whom he has exchanged public insults and threats, heightening tensions in the region.

Trump said he hoped the standoff with Pyongyang could be resolved “in a peaceful way, but its very possible that it cant.”

Trump praised China for its efforts to restrict oil and coal supplies to North Korea but said Beijing could do much more to help constrain Pyongyang.

The White House last week welcomed news that imports to China from North Korea, which counts on Beijing as its main economic partner, plunged in December to their lowest in dollar terms since at least the start of 2014.

‘They get closer every day’
But Trump said Russia appears to be filling in the gaps left by the Chinese.

Western European security sources told Reuters in late December that Russian tankers had supplied fuel to North Korea on at least three occasions in recent months by transferring cargoes at sea in violation of international sanctions. Russia has denied breaching North Korea sanctions.

North Korea relies on imported fuel to keep its struggling economy functioning. It also requires oil for its intercontinental ballistic missile and nuclear program.

Trump has repeatedly blamed a U.S. investigation into whether Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election for hindering an improvement in U.S.-Russian relations.

“He can do a lot,” Trump said of Russian President Vladimir Putin. “But unfortunately we don’t have much of a relationship with Russia, and in some cases it’s probable that what China takes back, Russia gives. So the net result is not as good as it could be.”

Trump, who has grappled with nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches by North Korea since he took office a year ago, said Pyongyang is steadily advancing in its ability to deliver a missile to the United States.

“They’re not there yet, but they’re close. And they get closer every day,” said Trump.