President Donald Trump believes the “greatest immediate threat” to the US is North Korea and its nuclear program, a senior administration official told reporters Tuesday.
Trump has already called on China to take action to rein in North Korea, over which China has considerable influence and leverage, the official said.
“You gotta work on North Korea,” Trump told a Chinese official on Monday, the senior administration official said, apparently pointing to a brief meeting at the White House Monday between Trump and Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi, the highest-ranking Chinese official Trump has met with since taking office.
North Korea has successfully developed nuclear weapons, but still lacks a delivery method, the official said. Still, the US administration is concerned that North Korea could purchase a delivery method. Trump is not the first US president to be alarmed over North Korea’s nuclear program.
The senior official who spoke to reporters Tuesday on the condition of anonymity said President Barack Obama on his final day in office told Trump he believed North Korea is the biggest national security threat to the US.
Trump previously referred to the conversation during an interview last month with Fox News, but declined to reveal what Obama relayed, other than to call it “a military problem with a certain place.”