MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The United States counts on China's assistance in solving the problem of North Korea nuclear program, but is ready to act alone in case of Beijing's abstention, US President Donald Trump said Sunday.
"China has great influence over North Korea. And China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won’t… Well if China is not going to solve North Korea, we will. That is all I am telling you," Trump said in an interview with The Financial Times newspaper.
Trump added that he planned to discuss the issue with Chinese leader Xi Jinping during the meeting set for April 6-7.
The US leader stressed that he respected his Chinese counterpart and hoped for a productive meeting.
"I have great respect for him. I have great respect for China. I would not be at all surprised if we did something that would be very dramatic and good for both countries and I hope so," Trump said.
Earlier in the day, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi held a phone conversation to discuss upcoming meeting between the US and Chinese leaders.
Since the beginning of 2016, North Korea carried out a number of missile launches and nuclear tests, prompting worldwide criticism, including from Beijing. As a result, the UN Security Council tightened the sanctions regime for North Korea in an attempt to force Pyongyang to stop ballistic missile launches and nuclear tests, including imposing a measure intended to affect the country’s trade, export of natural resources, arms trade and banking sector.
Earlier in March, Trump said Chinese authorities have done "little to help," to address the threat posed by the North Korean nuclear program.