Nu­clear prob­lem will be solved, Trump vows

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - WORLD -

US Pres­i­dent Donald Trump promised yes­ter­day that North Korea will be solved, as G7 pow­ers opened a sum­mit that will con­front a se­ries of mis­sile tests by the nu­clear-armed na­tion.

Trump’s tough talk came in a meet­ing with Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe of Ja­pan which, along with South Korea, is most im­me­di­ately threat­ened by North Korean bel­liger­ence.

But the iso­lated regime has also threat­ened to tar­get places fur­ther afield such as the US West Coast, and Trump has called North Korea’s young leader Kim Jong-un a mad­man with nu­clear weapons.

“We will be dis­cussing many things in­clud­ing North Korea, which is very much on our minds,” Trump said in the Si­cil­ian town of Taormina as he held bi­lat­eral talks with Abe at the start of the two-day G7 sum­mit.

“It’s a big prob­lem, it’s a world prob­lem. It will be solved, you can bet on that.”

North Korea car­ried out two atomic tests last year and has ac­cel­er­ated its mis­sile launch pro­gramme, de­spite tough UN sanc­tions aimed at deny­ing Kim the hard cur­rency needed to fund his weapons am­bi­tions.

So far Wash­ing­ton has opted for sanc­tions and diplo­matic pres­sure, while look­ing to China, the North’s clos­est ally, to help rein in Pyongyang.

Abe said he in­tended to use the G7 sum­mit to un­der­score the dan­ger posed by the un­pre­dictable regime in North Korea.

“The is­sue of North Korea is a grave threat, not only to East Asia but also to the world,” he said, urg­ing the G7 to act res­o­lutely.

Pyongyang’s launches this year have in­cluded a Hwa- song-12 in­ter­me­di­ate-range mis­sile, which the North claimed was ca­pa­ble of car­ry­ing a heavy nu­clear war­head, fu­elling ten­sions with Wash­ing­ton.

The US is wor­ried that if Kim is not stopped, other coun­tries in the re­gion, in­clud­ing Ja­pan and South Korea, will be com­pelled to seek their own nu­clear ca­pa­bil­ity as a de­fence mea­sure.

Wash­ing­ton says it is will­ing to en­ter into talks with North Korea if it halts its nu­clear and mis­sile tests, but it has also warned that mil­i­tary in­ter­ven­tion is an op­tion. – AFP

PHO­TO­GRAPH: REUTERS

HIGH-LEVEL TALKS: French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron and Donald Trump at the G7 Sum­mit

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