WASHINGTON – President Trump on Wednesday tried to make China the scapegoat for his graduated diplomacy with North Korea, accusing it of undermining the American-led pressure campaign against Pyongyang because of an escalating trade dispute with the United States.
In Statement from the White House "Mr. Trump said China was shipping" money, fuel, fertilizer and various other commodities [
"This is not helpful!"
Yet at the same time, Mr. Trump reaffirmed his decision in June to suspend joint military exercises with South Korea, saying they were costly and unnecessary, given his warm relationship with North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un.
While it's difficult to decipher the strategy behind the tweets, the president appeared in part to be try Mr. Mattis's remarks as contradictory to the president's addressed the White House.
A Defense Department 19659002] On Wednesday, Mr. Matt's issued a statement seeking to clarify his initial remarks, but both that and Mr. Trump's tweets caused just as much confusion as Mr. Trump pointed out 19659002] Indeed, despite the official sounding imprimatur on the tweets, they were as contradictory and factually asubious as some of his most off-the-cuff remarks.
He accused China of undermining his signature diplomatic initiative while reaffirming his very strong Relationship and Bond "with President Xi Jinping. He reiterated his " very good and warm " The President can instantly start the joint exercises again with South Korea, and Japan, if he so chooses, " Mr. Trump wrote adding, "If he does, they want to be bigger than ever before."
The tweets came five days after the president Pyongyang was spurned by his secretary of state, Mike
North Korea is expecting the Korean War, while the White House is requesting that Pyongyang declare a full inventory of its nuclear weapons and missiles – and to set a timetable for dismantling them. Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim have become increasingly sour.
Mr. Trump has long linked North Korea to China and trade. On Friday, when he said he was cryptically, "Donald J. Trump feels strongly that North Korea is Under tremendous pressure from China because of our major trade disputes with the Chinese government. "
But the officials say they do not see a link between North Korea and the trade dispute. In addition, they say there is anecdotal evidence of increased commercial activity along the border between the North and China.
As he did with Mr. Kim Mr. Trump reprimanded the Chinese counterpart.
"As for the US-China trade disputes, and other differences, they will be resolved in time by President Trump and China's great president Xi Jinping, " he said .
Helene Cooper contributed reporting from Washington.