It’s a sentiment that Trump, who has repeatedly called North Korea a “nuclear state,” has used to criticize the Obama administration’s strategy to bring the rogue nation to the negotiating table.
But in recent weeks, the president has used his Twitter account to offer more nuanced views of the situation, including that a nuclear North Korea would have “an immediate impact on our national security” and that a North Korean strike on the U.S. would be a “terrible thing.”
“I don’t think it’s going to be easy,” Trump said in a speech at the Heritage Foundation in September.
“I don?t think it?s going to happen.”
But Trump’s recent statements have also come as the Trump administration is working on an economic plan that could help bring North Korea back on the negotiating path.
In a speech Tuesday at the American Enterprise Institute, Trump proposed a plan to create 100,000 jobs for Americans in the oil and gas and agriculture sectors.
“We?ll be bringing jobs back,” Trump pledged.
“It will be done by people that want to come back.
It?s a tremendous, great opportunity.”
While the economic plan is being prepared, the administration is also planning to move to cut North Korea off from the global financial system and to remove restrictions on its ability to access oil and other critical commodities.
The administration is likely to make those moves this week, according to one person familiar with the planning.
That person spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the private deliberations ahead of public announcements.
The Trump administration has previously indicated that the sanctions will be lifted by the end of March.
The plan, which is being drafted with a variety of outside consultants and experts, has also been described by some in Washington as a “soft” approach that could be acceptable to Beijing.
But experts and diplomats say that Trump and his aides have made clear that the U,S.
will continue to use economic pressure and military force to drive North Korea to the bargaining table.
That has raised the prospect of a war with North Korea, and experts say it could push the country closer to a new nuclear weapons capability.
The economic plan, the person said, is a “very good idea” that would help bring about a “positive outcome” in North Korea.
That could lead to a diplomatic solution that would see North Korea negotiate with the U., the person added.
The U.N. Security Council will likely be invited to participate in the plan, as it has with previous rounds of talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
“I am confident that the president is serious about bringing the country to the table,” the person familiar said.