Search icon


28th Apr 2017

Donald Trump warns of potential “major, major conflict” with North Korea

“There’s a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely”

Conor Heneghan

The US president made the comments in an interview marking his first 100 days in office.

US president Donald Trump said that it is possible that the United States could end up having a “major, major conflict” with North Korea but said that he would prefer if the problems between the two countries were solved by diplomatic means.

In an interview with Reuters on Thursday, Trump said: “There’s a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely.”

Trump told Reuters that he’s pressing for a diplomatic solution to the standoff with North Korea, but also warned that any move by North Korea against South Korea would have consequences.

Speaking about North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, Trump said: “Is he willing to destroy his country and is he willing to destroy millions and millions of lives and people?”

The US president had previously been critical of China’s willingness to rein in North Korea, but he spoke well of Chinese president Xi Jinping in the interview after meeting with him in Florida earlier this month.

“I believe he (Jinping) is trying very hard,” Trump said.

Xi Jinping

“He certainly doesn’t want to see turmoil and death. He doesn’t want to see it. He is a good man. He is a very good man and I got to know him very well,” Trump said.

“With that being said, he loves China and he loves the people of China. I know he would like to be able to do something, perhaps it’s possible that he can’t.”

Tensions between the US and North Korea have increased in recent months over North Korea’s nuclear weapons policy, with North Korea launching their latest (failed) missile test earlier this month.

That failed missile launch followed a display of North Korea’s military arsenal at a parade in Pyongyang to celebrate the 105th anniversary of the birth of North Korea’s founding president, Kim Il-sung.

At that parade, Choe Ryong-hae, believed to be the country’s second most powerful official, said that North Korea were “prepared to respond to an all-out war with an all-out war” following the deployment of a US Navy strike group in the Korean peninsula.