It's “very possible” that the standoff with North Korea might not be resolved peacefully, Donald Trump said in an exclusive interview with Reuters, adding, that he is not sure if the talks will lead to “anything meaningful.”
“I’d sit down, but I‘m not sure that sitting down will solve the problem,” Trump said.
He added that he is basically “not sure that talks will lead to anything meaningful” since they have been going on for 25 years now.
The remarks come after Trump’s statement earlier in January, in which he said he is “absolutely” willing to talk on the phone to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un if certain conditions are met.
Tensions with Pyongyang have risen since Trump came to power in January last year, with many threats, incendiary rhetoric and provocative military maneuvers exhanged by both sides.
During the interview, the US leader also had some harsh words for Russia with regards to the situation on the Korean peninsula. Trump accused Moscow of being soft on Pyongyang and not doing enough to implement international sanctions.
While supporting the UN Security Council sanctions on Pyongyang, Moscow has repeatedly insisted that the US itself should take a more moderate approach towards North Korea and follow the diplomatic route.
Trump and Kim have repeatedly threatened one another with an armed strike, with the US commander in chief once tweeting that his nuclear button was “much bigger & more powerful one than his [Kim's], and my Button works!”
Speaking from the Oval Office, Trump told Reuters that he still wasn’t ruling out military action. “We’re playing a very, very hard game of poker and you don’t want to reveal your hand,” he said.
Meanwhile, Russia's foreign ministry criticized the joint US-Canadian summit trying to resolve the the N.Korean question. Moscow said the nations present failed to provide any alternatives to the joint Russian-Chinese “double-freeze” strategy, in which Pyongyang and the US respectively cease their missile program and military maneuvers. Neither Russia nor China were invited to the summit, where Washington again rejected the double-freeze solution.
US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard said Tuesday that it's Washington’s aggressive foreign policy – agitating for regime change around the world – that's lead to the tense situation with North Korea.
“Regime change war policy is the reason why North Korea sees nuclear weapons as their only deterrent from a US-led attack,” she tweeted. “Kim Jong-un sees what the US has done to Gaddafi in Libya, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and the effort underway to decertify the nuclear deal with Iran,” the Democratic representative from Hawaii said.