Trump says ‘major, major’ conflict with North Korea possible, but seeks diplomacy

Trump says ‘major, major’ conflict with North Korea possible, but seeks diplomacy, by Stephen Adler.

“There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely,” Trump told Reuters in an Oval Office interview ahead of his 100th day in office on Saturday. …

The Trump administration on Wednesday declared North Korea “an urgent national security threat and top foreign policy priority.” It said it was focusing on economic and diplomatic pressure, including Chinese cooperation in containing its defiant neighbor and ally, and remained open to negotiations. …

Any direct U.S. military action would run the risk of massive North Korean retaliation and huge casualties in Japan and South Korea and among U.S. forces in both countries.

Trump, asked if he considered North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to be rational, said he was operating from the assumption that he is rational.

Talk to Taiwan again, like in December?

“My problem is that I have established a very good personal relationship with President Xi,” said Trump. “I really feel that he is doing everything in his power to help us with a big situation. So I wouldn’t want to be causing difficulty right now for him.”

“So I would certainly want to speak to him first.”