Trump on North Korea: Military Option ‘Not a First Choice, but We’ll See What Happens’


President Donald Trump said Wednesday that the use of military force in North Korea is "not a first choice" but suggested it is a possibility, saying, "We will see what happens."

The comment came days after North Korea further provoked escalating tensions with the U.S. on Sunday when it conducted an underground nuclear test, using what North Korean officials claimed was a high-powered hydrogen weapon.

Trump told reporters that he had a "very, very frank" phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the issue hours earlier, noting that the two men were in agreement about the growing threat from Pyongyang.

"We had a very good phone call, it lasted for a long time," Trump said. "President Xi would like to do something; we'll see whether or not he can do it."

"But we will not be putting up with what's happening in North Korea," Trump added. "I believe that President Xi agrees with me 100 percent. He doesn't want to see what's happening there either. We had a very, very frank, a very strong phone call."

A reporter then asked Trump about the possibility of using military force in North Korea to respond to its escalating nuclear threat. Trump would not commit one way or the other.

"We'll see what happens," he said. "Certainly that's not a first choice. But we will see what happens."

Charles Fain Lehman

Charles Fain Lehman   Email Charles | Full Bio | RSS
Charles Fain Lehman is a staff writer for the Washington Free Beacon. He writes about policy, covering crime, law, drugs, immigration, and social issues. Reach him on twitter (@CharlesFLehman) or by email at

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