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(LEAD) Trump: China will 'deal properly' with N. Korea, otherwise U.S. will

All News 04:15 April 14, 2017

(ATTN: UPDATES with more Trump remarks)
By Chang Jae-soon

WASHINGTON, April 13 (Yonhap) -- U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday he's confident China will rein in North Korea, increasing pressure on Beijing to use its leverage over Pyongyang amid concern the provocative regime may carry out a nuclear test.

"I have great confidence that China will properly deal with North Korea. If they are unable to do so, the U.S., with its allies, will! U.S.A.," Trump said in a Twitter message.

Later in the day, Trump also said that China has "really been working hard."

"North Korea is a problem. The problem will be taken care of. I will say this. I think China has really been working very hard," Trump said at the start of a meeting with first responders.

Trump called Chinese President Xi Jinping "a terrific person."

"We spent a lot of time together in Florida and he is a very special man. So we'll see how he does. I think he's going to try very hard," he said, refering to last week's meetings with Xi at the Mar-a-Lago resort.

Trump spoke after the U.S. dropped its largest non-nuclear bomb on an Islamic State (IS) tunnel complex in Afghanistan. The GBU-43B, a 21,000-pound conventional bomb is also known as "Mother Of All Bombs." It was the first time the bomb has been used in battle.

Asked if the bomb's use sends a message to Korea, Trump said, "I don't know if this sends a message. It doesn't make any difference if it does or not."

It was the latest in a series of remarks that Trump has made in recent days to call for China to exercise its influence as the main food and energy provider for the impoverished North to stop the regime from additional provocations.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have spiked amid fears that the North could conduct what would be its sixth nuclear test to mark a key anniversary this weekend. The U.S. has sent an aircraft carrier strike group in a show of force aimed at warning Pyongyang against provocations.

(LEAD) Trump: China will 'deal properly' with N. Korea, otherwise U.S. will - 1

On Wednesday, Trump said during a joint news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that he told Chinese President Xi Jinping that the way for China to get a good trade deal is to help the U.S. with the North.

Trump also said that China appears to have already started working to increase pressure on the North, citing Beijing's decision to return shipments of coal imports from North Korea back to the country. Trump called the decision a "big step."

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump also said that he decided not to designate China as a currency manipulator because it could endanger his efforts to enlist Chinese help in dealing with North Korea.

At the same time, Trump also warned of the possibility of military action against the North.

"We are sending an armada, very powerful," Trump said in an interview with Fox Business aired Wednesday, referring to the Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike group, in an an apparent warning against the North undertaking provocations.

"We have submarines, very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier, that I can tell you. And we have the best military people on Earth," Trump said. "And I will say this. He is doing the wrong thing ... He's making a big mistake."

Asked what he was going to do with the North, Trump said he doesn't reveal those things.

"I'm not like Obama," Trump said, criticizing his predecessor for announcing his plans to strike the Iraqi city of Mosul in the fight against the militant group Islamic State so as to give adversaries enough time to get prepared for the strikes.

jschang@yna.co.kr
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