Trump To Take "Much Harder Line On China" After Summit Collapse: Report

It may have been the US that cancelled the North Korea peace summit, but China is ultimately responsible, at least according to veiled hints from President Trump. In his Thursday statement, Trump veered between threats of military action and entreaties to the North Korean dictator to schedule another summit after pulling the plug on their planned meeting. The president lamented that dialogue with Mr Kim had been “good until recently” when things abruptly changed. "I think I understand why that happened,” he said, but did not elaborate.

And, as we noted last night, ahead of North Korea's conciliatory statement, Trump this week pointed a finger at Beijing saying that Kim’s attitude had shifted after a meeting with President Xi almost three weeks ago.

“There was a difference when Kim Jong-un left China the second time,” Mr Trump said. “I can’t say that I’m happy about it.” On both occasions, Washington learned of Mr Kim’s visit only after the fact.

And this morning, CNBC’s Eamon Javers said that the entire North Korean summit diversion may have simply been a prelude to something else entirely, namely Trump reverting to a "much harder line" on China trade talks after he canceled the summit.

I’m told there is an expectation inside the White House that President Trump will take a much harder line on China trade now that the NK summit is off. Aides believed that Trump was soft pedaling his natural instincts until June 12. Now that is gone.

Javers said watch for change in Trump’s stance as far as China trade talks are concerned, going into Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s meetings next weekend in China.

Meanwhile, Trump appears to already be gloating this morning, and in a tweet said that it was "very good news to receive the warm and productive statement from North Korea. We will soon see where it will lead, hopefully to long and enduring prosperity and peace. Only time (and talent) will tell!"

Now we wait for his China tweets...

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