Trump says US ‘totally prepared’ for potential NKorea threat

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Governor Ricardo Rossello of Puerto Rico in the Oval Office of the White House, in this Oct. 19, 2017 photo, in Washington. (AP)
Updated 23 October 2017
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Trump says US ‘totally prepared’ for potential NKorea threat

WASHINGTON: The United States is “totally prepared” to respond to threats from Pyongyang, US President Donald Trump said in an interview aired Sunday, while also emphasizing his “exceptional relationship” with China’s leader.
“We’re so prepared like you wouldn’t believe,” Trump told the Fox News program Sunday Morning Futures while discussing tensions with North Korea, which have soared over Pyongyang’s nuclear program.
“You would be shocked to see how totally prepared we are if we need to be,” said Trump, who has in recent months engaged in a fiery verbal tit-for-tat with North Korea’s leader.
“Would it be nice not to do that? The answer is yes,” Trump went on, appearing to allude to potential conflict.
“Will that happen? Who knows,” the US president said.
The North has drawn international ire in recent months for conducting a sixth nuclear test and tests of long-range missiles capable of striking the US mainland.
Asked about US policy toward China, the North’s longtime ally, Trump praised Beijing for “helping” the US by enforcing sanctions against Pyongyang.
“He’s for China. And I’m for the US,” he said of Chinese President Xi Jinping. “But we do have a very good — I would say an exceptional relationship. And China’s really helping us. With respect to North Korea.”
“China is big stuff,” he added, saying Xi has “got the power to do something very significant with respect to North Korea.”
In a separate development, former US president Jimmy Carter told The New York Times he has offered to go to North Korea on behalf of the White House to try to allay rising tensions, though he has not been asked.
The 93-year-old Democrat, who was president from 1977 to 1981, said he had told the Republican president’s National Security Adviser HR McMaster that he “was available if they ever need me.”


NATO will show unity despite differences: Stoltenberg

Updated 20 June 2018
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NATO will show unity despite differences: Stoltenberg

  • Stoltenberg said NATO hopes to start accession talks with Macedonia at the summit, which will be held in Brussels on July 11 and 12
  • The US leader has also complained that the transatlantic defense alliance is more useful for Europe than it is for the United States

BRUSSELS: NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg voiced confidence Tuesday that Alliance members will demonstrate unity at a summit next month despite “important differences” between the United States and European members of the transatlantic Alliance. US President Donald Trump has called on fellow members to shoulder a bigger share of the NATO budget. The US leader has also complained that the transatlantic defense alliance is more useful for Europe than it is for the United States. However Stoltenberg remained decidedly upbeat on Tuesday, while acknowledging the differences. “I’m absolutely confident that the NATO summit will demonstrate the transatlantic unity, that Europe and the United States stand together despite important differences on important issues like trade, the Paris (climate) agreement or the Iran nuclear deal,” the NATO leader told the France 24 television channel. “I met president Donald Trump recently in the White House and he reconfirmed his strong personal commitment to NATO and he also recognized that European allies are investing more in defense.” Trump caused dismay in Europe during his presidential campaign when he said that NATO was “obsolete” and failing to meet the challenge posed by Daesh terror groups. “He has a strong message about the need to do more (on defense spending) and I agree with him and the European allies also agree with him,” said Stoltenberg. Stoltenberg also said NATO hopes to start accession talks with Macedonia at the summit, which will be held in Brussels on July 11 and 12, after the small Balkan nation reached a deal with Greece to be renamed the Republic of North Macedonia.