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 situation on the Korean Peninsula has escalated over the past few months due to Pyongyang’s repeated missile launches and a nuclear test, all conducted in violation of the UN Security Council resolutions. In September, the UN Security Council adopted its toughest resolution against Pyongyang, restricting oil exports and banning imports of textile products from the Asian nation, as well as the country’s access to gas liquids.
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.