NATIONAL

Trump: US 'totally prepared' for N. Korea threat

By Yonhap
  • Published : Oct 23, 2017 - 09:10
  • Updated : Oct 23, 2017 - 09:10

WASHINGTON -- US President Donald Trump said his country is "totally prepared" to respond to North Korea in the wake of its nuclear and ballistic missile threats.

In an interview aired Sunday on Fox News, Trump made clear that he would use military action against Pyongyang if necessary.

"You would be shocked to see how totally prepared we are if we need to be," he said. "Would it be nice not to do that? The answer is yes."

Tensions reached new levels in recent months as Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un exchanged inflammatory rhetoric over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs.

This EPA file photo shows US President Donald Trump. (Yonhap)

Trump threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea in the event of an attack on the US In turn, the North Korean leadership threatened to test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean. Trump and Kim also traded personal insults, calling each other a "Rocket Man" on a suicide mission and a "deranged US dotard."

The North Korea issue is expected to dominate Trump's first trip to Asia next month.

He is scheduled to visit South Korea, Japan and China, among other nations, for talks with their respective leaders.

Trump praised Chinese President Xi Jinping for his actions against North Korea.

"He's for China and I'm for the US, OK? So we start off with that, but we do have a very good -- I would say an exceptional -- relationship," he said. "And China's really helping us, and -- well, also with respect to North Korea -- 93 percent of things going into North Korea come through China. China is big stuff."

China is widely considered to have significant leverage over North Korea because it is the reclusive nation's main ally and economic benefactor.

Trump previously criticized Beijing for not doing enough to rein in Pyongyang.

But China backed the unanimous adoption of two UN Security Council sanctions resolutions against North Korea following its long-range missile tests in July and sixth and most powerful nuclear test in September. (Yonhap)