In an exclusive interview with Reuters published on Friday, President Donald Trump said that the chance of a “major, major conflict with North Korea” is “absolutely” possible.
“There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely,” Trump said.
He added that while the U.S. would love to solve the problem with North Korea diplomatically, that may not be possible.
“We’d love to solve things diplomatically but it’s very difficult,” Trump said.
The President went on to comment on the situation the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was thrown into at a young age. Kim Jong Un became leader of the country with the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, in 2011. Trump mentioned that he hoped such circumstances wouldn’t keep Kim Jong Un from being irrational.
“He’s 27 years old. His father dies, took over a regime. So say what you want but that is not easy, especially at that age,” Trump said. “I’m not giving him credit or not giving him credit, I’m just saying that’s a very hard thing to do. As to whether or not he’s rational, I have no opinion on it. I hope he’s rational.”
President Trump also acknowledged that Chinese President Xi Jinping is working very hard to assist in controlling Kim Jong Un diplomatically.
“I believe he is trying very hard,” he said of President Xi. “He certainly doesn’t want to see turmoil and death. He doesn’t want to see it. He is a good man. He is a very good man and I got to know him very well.”
The two leaders met at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in early April.
“With that being said, he loves China and he loves the people of China,” Trump continued, speaking about the Chinese President. “I know he would like to be able to do something, perhaps it’s possible that he can’t.”