President Trump is taking a tough line on the North Korean nuclear threat days ahead of his first meeting with his Chinese counterpart. He says he plans to raise the issue with Xi Jinping when they meet in Florida this week. "China has great influence over North Korea," and they will "decide to help us with North Korea, or they won't," Trump told the Financial Times in an Oval Office interview. "If they do, that will be very good for China, and if they don't, it won't be good for anyone." Asked if he would consider a deal that includes the withdrawal of US troops from South Korea, he replied: "If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will. That is all I am telling you." He added that it was "totally" possible for the US to deal with Pyongyang alone.
Trump said he had great respect for Xi and that he "would not be at all surprised if we did something that would be very dramatic and good for both countries." Trump has implied that trade issues could be used as leverage when dealing with China, though he says he won't be raising the issue of tariffs with Xi, the BBC reports. Former CIA China analyst Dennis Wilder tells the FT that Trump appears ready to bring in "secondary sanctions" against Chinese individuals and companies that deal with North Korea, and he may also pressure China to stop using North Korean labor. (Pyongyang was furious last week after John McCain described Kim Jong Un as a "crazy fat kid.")