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Trump tells China there is a solution to N. Korea nuclear issue

BEIJING — U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday he believes there is a solution to North Korea’s nuclear issue as he urged Chinese President Xi Jinping to work with him in addressing “problems of great danger and security.”


In a meeting with Xi, part of which was open to the media, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Trump also called for “fair” trade with China as part of an effort to address the trade imbalance between the world’s two biggest economies.

On North Korea, Trump said, “I do believe there’s a solution to that, as you do,” effectively urging Xi to use more of China’s influence on its neighbor to force it to curb its development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.


Trump said he wants to work with Xi “to solve not only our problems but world problems, and problems of great danger and security,” in an apparent reference to the rising threat posed by North Korea.


“I believe we can solve almost all of them, and probably all of them,” he said.


Xi said he wants to strengthen communication and coordination with the United States on issues involving North Korea.

The meeting came as North Korea is stepping up the development of nuclear-tipped missiles that could reach as far as the continental United States. In the face of such a threat, the Trump administration says it is keeping all options — including military action — on the table in dealing with the defiant country.


During the meeting, Trump was expected to urge Xi to fully implement U.N. Security Council sanctions on North Korea and cut financial links with Pyongyang as part of coordinated global pressure to compel the North to halt nuclear and missile tests and engage in credible talks to denuclearize, according to a senior White House official.

“I think that if you look at the activity across that border, certainly there is still some trade taking place,” the official told reporters Wednesday, requesting anonymity. “There are still some financial links that exist that should not under those resolutions.”


China accounts for about 90 percent of North Korea’s trade and is a major supplier of oil to the country, leading critics to call Beijing an economic enabler of the North’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

China, however, has maintained that sanctions and pressure alone are not sufficient in addressing the North Korean nuclear issue, and called on the parties involved to peacefully resolve the issue through dialogue.

On the economic front, Trump is expected to press Xi to provide “fair and reciprocal” treatment of U.S. businesses and cease “predatory” trade and investment practices, to create balanced and sustainable ties, according to the White House official.


Last week, Trump lashed out at the massive U.S. goods trade deficit with China, which totaled some $347 billion last year, by far the largest deficit with any trading partner.


“We have trade deficits with China that are through the roof,” Trump said at a Cabinet meeting. “They’re so big and so bad that it’s embarrassing saying what the number is.”


Trump is in China on the third leg of a five-nation Asian trip that will also take him to Vietnam and the Philippines. He traveled to Japan and South Korea before arriving in Beijing on Wednesday.


It is the Republican president’s first trip to the region since taking office in January.


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