The Trump administration is pleased that China is reducing its trade with North Korea, the White House said today. China, which accounts for nearly all of North Korea’s trade and energy supplies, today said that its trade with Pyongyang plunged 50 per cent in December. North Korea last year increased the pace of its missile programme and launched 23 missiles since February.
In November, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un said that his country had achieved full nuclear statehood after what he said was the successful test of a new missile capable of striking anywhere in the United States.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement: “The Donald J Trump administration is pleased that China is sharply reducing its trade with North Korea,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. “This action supports the United States-led global effort to apply maximum pressure until the North Korean regime ends its illicit programmes, changes its behaviour and moves towards denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula,” she said.
A day earlier, Trump in an interview to The Wall Street Journal said that China has not been “helpful enough” to the United States on the issue of North Korea, even though they have been very helpful. “Not helpful enough, but they’ve been very helpful. Let’s put it this way, they’ve done more for me than they ever have for any American president. They still haven’t done enough,” Trump had said.
“But they’ve done more for me than they have, by far, for any – I have a very good relationship with President Xi (Jinping). I like him. He likes me. We have a great chemistry together. He’s – China has done far more for us than they ever have for any American president. With that being said, it’s not enough. They have to do more,” Trump insisted. As a result of Chinese help so far, Trump said he has not been tough on China as he would like to be.
“We’ve been much tougher on China, but not nearly as tough as I would be, but they are helping us a lot with North Korea. And you see in North Korea what’s happening with North Korea all of a sudden. “China’s been helping us a lot, so you can veer a little bit differently, but for the most part everything I’ve said I’ve done,” he said in response to a question on his electoral promise of being tough on China.
North Korea, he said, is a big problem. “It is a big problem, and they should not have left me with that problem. That should have been a problem that was solved by (Barack) Obama, or (George W) Bush, or (Bill) Clinton or anybody because the longer it went the worse, the more difficult the problem got,” Trump said.
“This should not have been a problem left on my desk, but it is and I get things solved. And one way or the other, that problem is going to be solved. China has been helping us and I appreciate the help, but they can do much more,” the US president added.