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US President Donald Trump has described North Korea as a “menace”, while lauding China’s efforts to rein in the reclusive country. “As far as North Korea is concerned, we are in very good shape. We’re building our military rapidly,” Trump said at a press conference with visiting Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni. “A lot of things have happened over the last short period of time. I have been here for approximately 91 days. We’re doing a lot of work. We’re in a very good position.”
He was optimistic that China would be able to use its influence on North Korea and its leader Kim Jong Un, who he hoped is “mentally stable”.
Trump was asked by a reporter whether he thought the North Korean leader is mentally unstable and, therefore, unable to be reasoned with. “I can’t answer your question on stability. I hope the answer is a positive one, not a negative one. But hopefully that will be something that gets taken care of,” he said.
Trump, who met with President Xi Jinping earlier this month at his Mar-a-Lago retreat, said he told his Chinese counterpart that he would get a “much better” trade deal with the US if he did something about the “menace” of North Korea. “Because that is what it is, it is a menace right now.”
Trump also said he was confident that Xi would be trying “very, very hard” in the matter. “I really have confidence that the President (Xi Jinping) will try very hard. We don’t know whether or not they’re able to do that, but I have absolute confidence that he will be trying very, very hard,” he said.
“Some very unusual moves have been made over the last two or three hours,” Trump said without elaborating.