Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has said that, if elected president of the United States, he wouldn’t launch a preemptive strike to destroy North Korea’s nuclear facilities.
Trump said in an interview with CNN on Wednesday that the US should instead pressure China to take a lead role in addressing the North Korean nuclear issue.
“They have total control, so China has to get involved,” Trump said. “And we should put pressure on China to solve that problem.”
He added that, if Beijing did not find a satisfactory solution to the problem, “we should be very tough on [China] on trade.”
“We have great power over China. We just don’t know how to use it,” the New York billionaire stated. .
Trump made the remarks in the wake of a statement from North Korea that it had successfully tested a hydrogen nuclear device.
But the White House expressed doubts over claims by Pyongyang in regard to the test, saying that an “initial analysis” conducted by US officials “is not consistent with the North Korean claims of a successful hydrogen bomb test.”
Before Pyongyang’s announcement, a fake earthquake was detected in the country, whose seismic wave was viewed as smaller than detonation of a true thermonuclear weapon.
North Korea’s rival, South Korea, said the seismological data from the test are likely to have arised from a simple atomic device based on uranium or plutonium.
The United States has more than thousands of troops deployed in South Korea, which has remained technically at war with its northern neighbor since the 1950-1953 Korean War ended in an armistice, rather than a peace treaty.