Trump: "Very Possible" Crisis With North Korea Can't Be Resolved Peacefully

In an exclusive interview with Reuters, President Trump said on Wednesday that Russia is helping North Korea get supplies in violation of international sanctions and that Pyongyang is getting “closer every day” to being able to deliver a long-range missile to the United States. As a result, Trump said he hoped the standoff with Pyongyang could be resolved “in a peaceful way, but it’s very possible that it can’t.

Having learned his lesson from his recent WSJ interview, Trump 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. He did, however, blame Moscow:

“Russia is not helping us at all with North Korea,” Trump said during the Oval Office interview. "What China is helping us with, Russia is denting. In other words, Russia is making up for some of what China is doing."

Which is ironic because it was a Chinese, not Russian ship, that was recently observed  illegally selling oil to North Korea. It's even more ironic that in the interview, 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.

In any case, with North Korea still the major global challenge facing Trump this year, the president cast doubt during the 53-minute interview whether talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would be useful. In the past he has not ruled out direct talks with Kim.

“I’d sit down, but I‘m not sure that sitting down will solve the problem,” he said, noting that past negotiations with the North Koreans by his predecessors had failed to rein in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

“They’ve talked for 25 years and they’ve taken advantage of our presidents, of our previous presidents,” he said.

The remarks come after Trump’s statement earlier in January, in which he said he is “absolutely” willing to talk on the phone to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un if certain conditions are met.

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In addition to slamming Russia, Trump 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.

Trump also said he welcomed talks between North and South Korea over the Winter Olympics to be held in the South next month and said this could be an initial phase in helping defuse the crisis.

He would not say whether the United States has been considering a limited, pre-emptive attack to show the North that the United States means business.

“We’re playing a very, very hard game of poker and you don’t want to reveal your hand,” he said.

U.S. officials had spoken of Trump’s willingness to weigh a pre-emptive strike despite the risk of touching off a war. But in recent days Trump has appeared to signal more of an openness toward diplomacy.

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Comments

swmnguy AllBentOutOfShape Wed, 01/17/2018 - 16:15 Permalink

Correct.  What, exactly, is this "Crisis" we're all supposed to be so terrified about?  What's new today, that hasn't been true for a few years?  The blather about the Norks having missiles that can reach us all and nuke us in our beds is laughable and backed up by nothing, for those of us who know how to read the Official Media.  All the scary stuff is attributed to anonymous sources, or when cited is hedged with the full array of weasel-wording; "May Be," "Similar to," "Could potentially..." and the rest.

The only actual crisis involving North Korea is still developing, and that's what would happen if the Kim regime collapsed quickly.

If the US really wanted to chase out the Kims, we'd be dropping planeloads of food and ways to view Western media and consumer options.

The only reason the US is creating a crisis in North Korea is to cause trouble for China since apparently the CIA hasn't been able to turn the Uighurs into the next Al Quaeda franchise, and for Russia, and to rope South Korea and Japan into the game as well.

In reply to by AllBentOutOfShape

YUNOSELL swmnguy Wed, 01/17/2018 - 17:17 Permalink

I's very simple -- if there is a military 'crisis' in a certain region such as with North Korea, then this has the effect of destabilizing the region where investors who would normally be investing in these emerging markets earning higher yields will think twice about it due to the instability and risk of war, and will weigh it out to be worth the trade off of lower returns to instead invest back in US securities and other investments where uncertainty about future investments is less risky. Note the North Korea region also includes South Korea, China and Japan. 

In reply to by swmnguy

The Alarmist YUNOSELL Wed, 01/17/2018 - 18:06 Permalink

So we're going to start bombing while that joint Olympic Team, negotiated by the former girlfriend of Kim that our dear leaders told us he had had savagely executed, is marching into the games?

So, before the bombing you will see the IOC, like that other sports puppet FIFA, face a number of corruption indictments if they don't block the Nork athletes from participating.

In reply to by YUNOSELL

the French bitch Bes Wed, 01/17/2018 - 17:48 Permalink

The military boys are having such fun with Donnie the bully at the helm.  Christ, he might even hand them a nuclear war to initiate.  Now won't that be exciting; they are slavering at the thought of being exalted or excoriated in history books.  Either one they don't care.  As they say in Hollywood, as long as you spell my name right!

In reply to by Bes

NumbersUsa peopledontwanttruth Wed, 01/17/2018 - 16:04 Permalink

trump the orange jew and his jew supremacists dual citizen companions are pushing for this escalation with N. Korea.

It's the exact same "more wars for the jew supremacists of the world"

He promised no more jew supremacist interventionist wars. He bombs syria on fake jew news and these same jew supremacist warmongers are pushing the orange jew into this one too. 

In reply to by peopledontwanttruth

caconhma peopledontwanttruth Wed, 01/17/2018 - 17:00 Permalink

I would be worried if Trump was the real US President but he isn't. Trump is a fucking fake President.

This is why neither S. Korea nor Japan are in a state of panic behaving like people in Hawaii. They know quite well that "the US Deep State" has direct contacts with Kim and Trump is just an entertainer, a buffoon, and a clown whose job is to justify gigantic defense spendings and skew US taxpayers.

The US Deep State knows quite well that there no room for miscalculation when Kim will unleash a nuclear attack on the USA and Japan. Kim knows that he has nothing to lose in a case of a US military attack against his country. The Kim's dynasty is not Qaddafy or Saddam Hussein. Kim is not a Zionist Banking Mafia puppet in the WH like Trump but rather a real thing. Even China has limited influence over him. 

In reply to by peopledontwanttruth

hedgeless_horseman Sliced into ribbons Wed, 01/17/2018 - 15:30 Permalink

 

 ...the president cast doubt during the 53-minute interview whether talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would be useful. 

Why doesn't the press, or anyone, ever ask about the reason for the standoff?

Let me help...

Mr. President, exactly why is it that North Korea cannot have missiles and nuclear weapons, but other nations can? 

Isn't this the definition of hypocritical? 

Are you not just using North Korea as a boogeyman to enrich the military industrial complex?

Do you actually believe, Mr. President, that war is peace?

In reply to by Sliced into ribbons