National Security

Haley: China’s Been a ‘Really Great Friend’ to the U.S. Regarding North Korea

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley called China a "great friend" on Monday regarding its efforts to assist the U.S. with pressuring North Korea over its nuclear program.

Haley appeared on "CBS This Morning," in addition to the other two network morning shows, to discuss rising tensions with North Korea over its nuclear and missile tests, as well as other foreign policy issues facing the Trump administration.

President Trump spoke on the phone Sunday night with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and CBS host Norah O'Donnell asked Haley what more China needs to do to deter the North Koreans from taking more provocative actions. China is North Korea's most important ally and main trading partner, giving Beijing strong influence over the rogue state.

"I think China is really in good faith doing quite a bit," Haley said. "They are trying to put pressure on North Korea. What we've said is we want you to put more pressure on North Korea, whether that's with coal, whether that's with oil, whether that's with other sanctions … I think China's been a really great friend of ours, and the way they came together with us to do the statement last week showed that we are united against wanting North Korea to stay away from doing any sort of nuclear threats."

Haley added that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is "flailing" and trying to show strength to his people.

"They're panicking right now," she said.

Last week, a Chinese spokesman said Beijing was "gravely concerned" about North Korean nuclear activity and praised the U.S. for "constructive" remarks about resolving the issue peacefully.

North Korea has continually made belligerent gestures toward the U.S., displaying a video last week showing the U.S. in flames during a military celebration.

Trump has softened his rhetoric about China, even refusing to call the country a currency manipulator after months of calling it one on the campaign trail, due to its assistance in pressuring North Korea.

"What, am I going to start trade war with China in the middle of him working on a bigger problem with North Korea?" Trump said last week. "I'm dealing with China with great respect. I have great respect for him. We'll see what he can do."

Trump has also cited friendly relations with the Chinese president as a reason to not start a trade war with the world's largest country.