U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday he will try to persuade China to use its leverage over North Korea when he holds meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping starting later in the day.
Trump told Fox News after an event honoring wounded soldiers that North Korea and trade will be the most important topics for his meetings with Xi set to take place at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Thursday and Friday.
"It's going to be very interesting ... We have not been treated fairly on trade for many, many years. No presidents have taken care of that the way they should have," Trump said. "And we have a big problem with North Korea. We're going to see what happens."
Asked if he hopes to get China to use its leverage over the North, Trump said, "We're going to see what happens. But I will tell you we will be in there pitching and I think we're going to do very well."
Later in the day, Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One that he believes China will agree to help.
"I think China will be stepping up," Trump said on the way to Florida, according to pool reports. Asked if he is ready to act unilaterally if China does not help, Trump said, "Certainly I would be," according to Reuters.
It was the latest in a series of remarks Trump has made about North Korea in the run-up to the summit with Xi.
On Wednesday, Trump said resolving the problem of North Korea is "my responsibility," calling the North a "big problem" and saying North Korean leader Kim Jong-un "is not doing the right thing."
Trump said Tuesday that the North is a "humanity problem."
Earlier, Trump said in an interview published Sunday that China should help with the North Korea problem by using the "great influence" it has over Pyongyang, warning that if it doesn't, the U.S. will solve the problem on its own, and that won't be good for anyone. (Yonhap)