WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a 180 degree turn, China announced on Wednesday that it is now willing to work with Washington on ending North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
The announcement comes less than one week after Trump entertained Chinese president Xi Jinping at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. China, one of North Korea’s biggest allies, had initially played coy as to who’s side they would take in the growing military tensions between the U.S. and communist nation.
That all seemed to have changed, according to sources, when Trump, a billionaire business man, put an ultimatum to China in economic terms.
“Had a very good call last night with the President of China concerning the menace of North Korea,” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning. “I explained to the President of China that a trade deal with the U.S. will be far better for them if they solve the North Korean problem!”
The tweet was accompanied by a second tweet where Trump suggested that the United States was willing to play rough if Jinping chose to back the wrong side.
“North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.,” he wrote.
Sources very close to the president say Trump gave Jinping a simple and direct choice: If we go down, so do you.
North Korea has ramped up threats of a nuclear attack in the past several months and Trump advised the Chinese president that should the U.S. be the target of a nuclear attack, China would have a very difficult time collecting upon the $1.24 trillion owed in U.S. debt. Further, considering the fact that the U.S. is one of the biggest importers of Chinese products, their own economy would suffer greatly by their choice to do nothing.
Trump has repeatedly called on China to put pressure on North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program as, being North Korea’s biggest economic partner and source of food and fuel, they hold a lot of weight when it comes to negotiations.
“China insists on realizing the denuclearization of the peninsula … and is willing to maintain communication and coordination with the American side over the issue on the peninsula,” Jinping told the state media.
The Chinese leader followed the statement with a terse warning to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
“Not only [is] Washington brimming with confidence and arrogance following the missile attacks on Syria, but Trump is also willing to be regarded as a man who honors his promises,” Jinping told the People’s Daily, the ruling Communist Party’s official paper, adding that North Korea should halt any plans for nuclear and missile tests “for its own security.”
Undeterred, Pyongyang said Monday it would “hold the U.S. wholly accountable for the catastrophic consequences” should there be any military action taken by the USS Carl Vinson in the area of the Korean Peninsula.