Trump declares that North Korea is ‘looking for trouble’ as tensions rise

President Trump suggested on Tuesday that he could sweeten the terms of a trade agreement with China if Beijing assists in solving the North Korea “problem” — but that the United States is prepared to move forward in the western Pacific without Chinese help.

“I explained to the President of China that a trade deal with the U.S. will be far better for them if they solve the North Korean problem!” Trump tweeted early Tuesday, three days after hosting Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

“North Korea is looking for trouble,” Trump wrote. “If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.”

Over the weekend, Trump deployed a U.S. Navy strike group to the Korean Peninsula as “a show of force,” a U.S. official told Reuters.

In turn, North Korea warned of tough counteraction against the United States if there is any sign of a U.S. strike against Pyongyang.

“The [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the U.S.,” a spokesman for the North’s foreign ministry said, according to state news agency KCNA.

“Our revolutionary strong army is keenly watching every move by enemy elements with our nuclear sight focused on the U.S. invasionary bases not only in South Korea and the Pacific operation theater but also in the U.S. mainland,” North Korea’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper declared.

North Korea is one of Trump’s most difficult national security challenges. On Barack Obama’s watch, Pyongyang made enough progress on nuclear weapons and…

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