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Trump: China concurs NKorea nuclear weapon freeze inadequate

Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017|4:10 p.m.

WASHINGTON– President Donald Trump said Wednesday that the U.S. and China agree that North Korea can not simply freeze its nuclear weapons program in exchange for concessions and that it should eliminate its arsenal.

Trump was reiterating a long-standing U.S. position but recommended that China now concurred with Washington that a “freeze-for-freeze” contract was undesirable.

China and Russia have actually proposed that as a way to reboot long-stalled negotiations: that the North might freeze its nuclear and rocket programs in exchange for the United States and its close ally South Korea stopping regular military drills that Pyongyang considers as preparation for intrusion.

China has not made a public disavowal of the proposition. China said Wednesday that it would send a top-level unique envoy to North Korea amid an extended chill in relations between the neighbors.

Trump was speaking a day after he returned from a 12-day journey through Asia that consisted of a state visit to China, where he was hosted by President Xi Jinping.

“President Xi acknowledges that a nuclear North Korea is a serious risk to China, and we agreed that we would not accept a so-called freeze for freeze contract, like those that have actually consistently failed in the past,” Trump stated.

He stated that Xi promised to carry out U.N. sanctions that aim to deprive North Korea of revenues for its weapons programs “and to utilize his excellent economic impact over the regime to achieve our common objective of a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.”

China is North Korea’s conventional ally and represent about 90 percent of the separated country’s external trade– including practically all its oil products.

Speaking at the White House, Trump cast his Asian sojourn as a “remarkable success,” saying the United States was feted by foreign leaders and asserted its strength on the planet.

“America’s restored confidence and standing worldwide has never ever been stronger than it is right now,” Trump stated, detailing his drop in Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Trump stated he had three objectives on the journey: to unite the world versus North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, to enhance alliances in the region and to demand “fair and mutual trade.”

Trump promised to work “as quick as possible” to eliminate sizable trade deficits with U.S. trading partners. He said it was “unacceptable” that the U.S. trade deficit with other nations stands at about $800 billion a year and guaranteed to “begin whittling that down as quick as possible.” He did not say how he prepared to accomplish that objective.

Previously, Trump used social media to spar with media coverage of his journey.

He tweeted criticism at The New york city Times. He said the paper “dislikes” that he has excellent relationships with world leaders and “they should realize that these relationships are a good thing, not a bad thing.” He called the paper “naive (or dumb)” on diplomacy.

The president likewise tweeted Wednesday that he was “required” to view CNN throughout the trip and “again realized how bad, and FAKE, it is.”

Associated Press author Catherine Lucey contributed to this report.