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On North Korea, Trump signals break with US-China policy


On North Korea, Trump signals break with US-China policy
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President Donald Trump, eager to stop rapid advances in North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, is signaling a break with decades of US policy as he looks to coax China into ramping up the pressure on North Korea.

Trump’s sweetening the pot, offering China better trade terms if the Asian powerhouse takes steps to put North Korea’s provocative behavior to rest. China accounts for 80% of North Korea’s foreign trade and has significant political leverage over North Korea.

“We have tremendous trade deficits with everybody, but the big one is with China. … And I told them, ‘You want to make a great deal?’ Solve the problem in North Korea. That’s worth having deficits.

And that’s worth having not as good a trade deal as I would normally be able to make,” Trump told The Wall Street Journal in an interview last week, a day after he spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping by phone.

The interview was one of several in the last week in which Trump has suggested China could win US concessions on trade in exchange for action on North Korea.

The stance is sparking concerns among former officials in successive Democratic and Republican administrations who say Trump appears to be abandoning a pillar of US efforts to urge China’s cooperation on North Korea.

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