POTUS Trump Takes Hardline on China’s “Help” With N. Korea: It “Has Not Worked Out”
In the aftermath of Otto Warmbier, the 22-year-old college student who died this week on his return from N. Korea, Trump has taken a harder line on the diplomatic aid China was supposed to be facilitating. Otto Warmbier was held for 17 months by the Hermit Kingdom after it was discovered that he had attempted to remove a propaganda poster from one of the floors of his hotel. Warmbier was returned in a comatose state and passed away Monday.
President Trump, expressing diplomatic frustration at the events, tweeted out, “At least I know China tried!”
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During today’s press conference, Spicer reiterated the need to push on China and add further pressure on North Korea:. Mr Spicer via a White House transcript:
We have been very forceful in our political and economic pressure that has been applied in North Korea. I think we’ll continue to apply that. And as I mentioned earlier, obviously, China can play — has played and can continue to play a greater role in helping to resolve this situation, and we will continue to hopefully build on the relationship and the dialogue that we’ve had with China. I think there have been some positive steps that they’ve taken, both at the U.N. and economically, to help strengthen the case against North Korea.
When asked a follow-up about whether President Trump would still be receptive to a meeting with Kim Jong-un, Spicer was less optimistic than he has been previously:
I believe that the context in which he said that was if the conditions — if the right conditions presented themselves. Clearly, we’re moving further away, not closer, to those conditions being — enact. So I would not suggest that we’re moving any closer.
Among other requests, President Trump has asked China to further pressure North Korea over their repeatedly hostile missile tests and nuclear ambitions. Trump has repeatedly said that he sees China as key in quelling the growing threat manifesting with highly-volatile North Korea.
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It is still yet to be seen how much diplomatic aid China is willing (or even able) to come through with.