WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US President Donald Trump said on Sunday that the United States was prepared for any course of events with regard to the development of the North Korean crisis.
"We're prepared for anything. We are so prepared like you wouldn't believe. You would be shocked to see how totally prepared we are, if we need to be," Trump said in an interview with Fox News Channel.
Presumably speaking about a military solution to the North Korean crisis, Trump said it would be better to avoid a military conflict.
The president also praised China’s actions regarding North Korea.
"They’re closing off their banking systems to North Korea, they have cut the oil way down. … With respect to North Korea, 93 percent of things going into North Korea come through China. China is big stuff," Trump said.
Following Trump's calls on Beijing to cut trade with North Korea in order to settle the situation, China introduced a full ban on imports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood from North Korea. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce said in September that the country's imports from North Korea went down by 16.3 percent year-on-year in January-July 2017.
The tensions in particular led to an exchange of threats between Washington and Pyongyang, with Trump threatening to take a "devastating" military option and "totally destroy" North Korea if forced to defend the United States, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un warning Washington of the "highest level of hard-line countermeasures in history."
In June, a "double freeze" scenario was proposed by China and backed by Russia, in which North Korea ceases its nuclear missile tests, while US-South Korean military drills are simultaneously halted. The initiative was rejected by Washington.
On Chinese President Xi Jinping's Influence
According to the US president, the influence of Chinese President Xi Jinping might increase following the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
"I have developed a very good relationship with President Xi. President Xi is right now going through his congress and it is going to be something very soon, it is going to happen, that gives him something that few leaders of China have ever had and I’m really good with that. And to be honest, when I told him this I want to keep things very low-key until such times he gets that, I want him to get that, I think he deserves that. He’s a good man," Trump said in an interview with Fox News Channel.
Xi is the seventh president of the People's Republic of China; he assumed office in 2013. He has also been the General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee since 2012. Xi has been on numerous occasions selected as one of the world's most influential people by such outlets as Forbes, Time and The Economist.
The 19th National Congress of the CPC kicked off on Wednesday and will last for a week. The party delegates at the congressional meeting will elect the new leadership of the Communist Party of China, including the CPC Central Committee.
On Sanctions Against Iran
Trump said that the United States didn't need the European Union's support for the possible strengthening of sanctions against Iran.
"Honestly, I told them [the Europeans], they are friends of mine, they really are, I get along with all of them, whether it's [French President] Emmanuel [Macron] or whether it's [German Chancellor] Angela [Merkel] … I really like those people, I told them 'Just keep making money, do not worry about it, we do not need you on this,'" Trump said in an interview with the Fox news broadcaster.
According to Trump, "When Iran buys things from Germany and from France … [it's] billions of dollars."
On October 13, Trump stated that the White House would work with Congress on "serious flaws" pertaining to the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), concluded on July 14, 2015. He refused to officially confirm to Congress Iran's compliance with the JCPOA.
The move prompted criticism from other members of the P5+1 group that brokered the historic deal in 2015, who had yet again stated that they believe Iran was in compliance with the nuclear deal.
On NAFTA Deal
US President Donald Trump has reiterated that the United States is ready to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) if the deal is not renegotiated in a way for Washington to get more favorable conditions.
Trump has repeatedly criticized NAFTA as disadvantageous for the United States and initiated the process of renegotiating the deal. Canada and Mexico have already rejected US demands for changes affecting several provisions of the agreement.
Concerned business representatives also called on Donald Trump to keep the trade deal in place and only slightly modernize the existing agreements.
Earlier in October, the United States, Canada and Mexico decided to extend the NAFTA negotiations into next year beyond the original deadline of December 31. The next round of talks is set to take place in November 17-21 in Mexico.