China is "putting pressure" on its ally North Korea to curb its weapons programmes, Trump told the CBS television network's "Face the Nation" programme.
The revelation is the latest in a series of strategic ideas and maneuvers to come from the Trump administration in dealing with the escalating tension among the U.S., North Korea and neighboring nations over the country's push to become a nuclear power.
McMaster said the Trump administration plans to renegotiate the U.S.'s defense relationships with South Korea and "all of our allies. we need everybody to pay their fair share". And I think you know me very well, where you've asked me many times over the last couple of years about military.
North Korea, which test-launched a ballistic missile on Friday that ended in failure, vowed through its foreign ministry that it would execute a nuclear test "at any time and at any location" and is "fully ready to respond to any option taken by the U.S". The U.S. president, who warned a "major, major conflict" with North Korea was possible in an interview with Reuters, did not elaborate on any U.S. response to the test.
South Korea and the United States wrapped up their annual large-scale military drills today, but continued a separate joint naval exercise that has triggered dire threats from nuclear-armed North Korea.
The regime will continue bolstering its "preemptive nuclear attack" capabilities unless Washington scrapped its hostile policies, he said in a statement carried by the state-run KCNA news agency.
Tasked with explaining Trump's flattery, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said there would be no meeting with the secretive North Korean leader until circumstances were right and numerous conditions met.
Trump, asked about his message to North Korea after the latest missile test, told reporters: "You'll soon find out", but did not elaborate on what the US response would be.
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On Saturday, a North Korean mid-range ballistic missile broke up a few minutes after launch, the third test-fire flop this month.
White House national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster told his South Korean counterpart that the USA would continue to bear the cost of the system, according to a statement Sunday from the office of the South Korean president.
In a telephone call on Sunday, Trump's national security adviser, HR McMaster, reassured his South Korean counterpart, Kim Kwan-jin, that the United States alliance with South Korea was its top priority in the Asia-Pacific region, the South's presidential office said.
McMaster said that Trump "has made clear that he is going to resolve this issue one way or the other", but that the president's preference is to work with China and others to resolve it without military action.
Some South Korean citizens, particularly those living near the deployment site, have firmly opposed THAAD, claiming that they will be the targets if North Korea chooses to strike the South. The U.S. has even raised the possibility of a pre-emptive strike if Pyongyang conducts another nuclear test.
"Look, because if you hurt your knee, honestly, I'd rather have the federal government focused on North Korea, focused on other things, than your knee, okay?"
"So obviously, he's a pretty smart cookie", he said.