STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Trump remains optimistic on North Korea talks

Despite criticism that President Donald Trump may have oversold the success of his summit with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un, the President says he believes negotiations with North Korea are going well, and that his relationship with Kim remains strong. CNN's Brian Todd reports.

Posted: Aug 30, 2018 1:58 PM
Updated: Aug 30, 2018 2:12 PM

President Donald Trump issued a White House statement about North Korea on Wednesday evening via Twitter, casting blame on China for difficulties in the US-North Korea relationship and asserting there is "no reason at this time" to spend money on joint military exercises with South Korea.

"President Donald J. Trump feels strongly that North Korea is under tremendous pressure from China because of our major trade disputes with the Chinese government. At the same time, we also know that China is providing North Korea with considerable aid, including money, fuel, fertilizer and various other commodities. This is not helpful!" he said in a series of tweets.

"Nonetheless, the President believes that his relationship with Kim Jong Un is a very good and warm one, and there is no reason at this time to be spending large amounts of money on joint U.S.-South Korea war games. Besides, the President can instantly start the joint exercises again with South Korea, and Japan, if he so chooses. If he does, they will be far bigger than ever before," Trump tweeted.

Trump sought to tie the impasse with North Korea with his trade tensions with China, although it is unclear how Beijing might be thwarting progress on the denuclearization front.

A spokesperson for the Beijing government said the US was "using this kind of logic to distort facts, and such logic is beyond comprehension."

"China has been reiterating its position on this issue," spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters during a press briefing at the Foreign Affairs ministry on Thursday. "We hope that the US would honor its pledges and commitments and play a positive and constructive role in settling this issue, just like we Chinese people do," she said. The US, she said, " should look at itself to find out what is wrong instead of shifting blame onto others."

The President has previously derided military exercises as a waste of money, telling reporters during a news conference following his June summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that he thought such exercises were "very provocative."

Defense Secretary James Mattis maintained earlier Wednesday that military exercises have been suspended but no decisions have been made on future exercises.

"The Department of Defense suspended three individual military exercises in order to provide space for our diplomats to negotiate the verifiable, irreversible and complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Our military posture has not changed since the conclusion of the Singapore summit and no decisions have been made about suspending any future exercises," Mattis said in a statement.

Trump also addressed his relationship with China's President Xi Jinping in his own statement.

"As for the U.S.--China trade disputes, and other differences, they will be resolved in time by President Trump and China's great President Xi Jinping. Their relationship and bond remain very strong," the statement said.

The tweets come hours after Trump was noncommittal when asked by reporters about North Korea's denuclearization progress, again pivoting to blame China.

"I think we're doing well with North Korea. We'll have to see," he said in the Roosevelt Room, adding that "part of the North Korea problem is caused by our trade disputes with China."

Trump said he has a "great relationship" with China and Xi but that the country makes the US's relationship with North Korea "difficult."

"China is the route to North Korea. Ninety-three percent of the product and various things are going to North Korea go in through China, so I think that now that we are in somewhat -- I don't like to call it a trade war ... but China's having a very, very tough time. And I think that China makes it much more difficult in terms of our relationship with North Korea," Trump said.

Asked whether he thinks North Korea is holding up its end of the deal, Trump said: "We're going to have to see. But I think China probably has a great influence over North Korea. I have a fantastic relationship with Chairman Kim, as you probably know, and we're just going to have to see how it all ends up."

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has had at least three meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Trump has suggested that Kim's reticence to accede to certain US demands in the past was influenced by his conversations with the Chinese leader.

While China and the US are at loggerheads over trade, they both share at least one goal regarding security in the region: a belligerent North Korea backing down on its nuclear ambitions. China is North Korea's biggest trade partner and is keen for sanctions to cede to resume trading with North Korea, and to prevent any disruption in its own security interests on the peninsula.

China's concerns over the political stability of the Kim regime include the fear that North Koreans, fleeing a regime collapse, could overwhelm the border they share with China. That, in turn, might also allow South Korean and US troops to move into North Korea, leaving China with US military right on its doorstep.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 253932

Reported Deaths: 5524
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17120175
Hinds16207322
Harrison13353193
Rankin10689211
Jackson10303183
Lee8796141
Madison8232162
Jones6288110
Forrest5949119
Lauderdale5847180
Lowndes5355116
Lafayette494292
Lamar484165
Washington4777123
Bolivar3966108
Oktibbeha392480
Panola368378
Pontotoc362853
Monroe3533105
Warren348498
Union343060
Marshall341665
Neshoba3370152
Pearl River327899
Leflore3002105
Lincoln297085
Sunflower282669
Tate270862
Hancock266559
Alcorn263253
Itawamba262459
Pike262077
Scott246245
Prentiss245052
Yazoo244355
Copiah240849
Tippah240450
Simpson234867
Leake230564
Coahoma230054
Grenada217770
Covington211371
Marion210672
Adams204670
Winston200164
Wayne199630
George199038
Attala193559
Newton191342
Tishomingo184459
Chickasaw183644
Jasper169735
Holmes168567
Clay159033
Stone142320
Tallahatchie140134
Clarke138660
Calhoun135721
Smith120123
Yalobusha116534
Walthall111836
Noxubee110322
Greene109729
Montgomery109434
Carroll104221
Lawrence102417
Perry101631
Amite97725
Webster92224
Tunica86321
Claiborne86125
Jefferson Davis84125
Humphreys82924
Benton81523
Kemper77120
Quitman6888
Franklin66415
Choctaw60313
Wilkinson58325
Jefferson53819
Sharkey42717
Issaquena1596
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 422598

Reported Deaths: 6120
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson62039921
Mobile30225548
Madison27052186
Tuscaloosa20728267
Montgomery18978305
Shelby18504114
Baldwin16251182
Lee12465101
Morgan12233113
Etowah11735168
Calhoun11122200
Marshall10191107
Houston8598148
Cullman8023105
Limestone800274
Elmore7836101
DeKalb768397
Lauderdale754683
St. Clair7535120
Talladega6166108
Walker5897174
Jackson580341
Colbert532073
Blount530483
Autauga518455
Coffee441056
Dale396181
Franklin366248
Chilton336165
Russell330310
Covington327268
Escambia316842
Dallas303196
Chambers282769
Clarke281433
Tallapoosa2616107
Pike248729
Marion245650
Lawrence243647
Winston226635
Bibb215147
Geneva201435
Marengo199029
Pickens196531
Hale175842
Barbour172936
Butler169658
Fayette168226
Cherokee160330
Henry153621
Monroe145217
Randolph139835
Washington137626
Clay126145
Crenshaw118744
Lamar118019
Cleburne117423
Macon114735
Lowndes110335
Wilcox103121
Bullock99028
Perry97419
Conecuh94420
Sumter89026
Greene76023
Coosa60515
Choctaw51224
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 58°
Columbus
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 57°
Oxford
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 54°
Starkville
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 55°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather