Jan 17, 2018

Trump: We're playing a "very hard game of poker" with North Korea

Photo: Nicholas Kamm / AFP / Getty Images

President Trump tells Reuters that Russia is "not helping us at all with North Korea," and that the Russian actions are "denting" progress China is making. He also said North Korea is getting "closer every day" to getting a missile that can hit the U.S.

Putin "can do a lot," Trump said, "but unfortunately we don't have much of a relationship with Russia, and in some cases it's probable that what China takes back, Russia gives. So the net result is not as good as it could be."

Context: U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called out both Russia and China for helping North Korea today in Vancouver at a meeting to discuss nuclear security and North Korea, and European countries told Reuters earlier this month that Russian tankers have been helping supply fuel to North Korea in violation of international sanctions. China is suspected to have been supplying the North with fuel in recent months as well.

On future talks with North Korea: Trump said he's "not sure that sitting down [with the North Koreans] will solve the problem."

  • This comes just after North Korea and South Korea held the first talks in just about two years earlier this month in advance of the Olympics in Seoul.

Trump would not comment on whether the U.S. is considering launching a "bloody nose" strike against North Korea, which carries with it numerous risks, including a humanitarian crisis in China as well as retaliation from North Korea.

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