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Trump says a US strike on North Korea 'would be devastating'

Trump blamed previous US presidents for failing to deal with the North Korean threat.

Trump speaks at a White House press conference.
Trump speaks at a White House press conference.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

US PRESIDENT DONALD Trump says if the US takes a military option in dealing with the threat from North Korea “it will be devastating”.

Trump says that “we are totally prepared” for a military option, but it’s not the preferred one.

He said: “If we have to take it, we will.”

Speaking at a White House press conference, he was asked about comments from North Korea’s foreign minister, who yesterday said that Trump’s recent threatening statements toward the North were a declaration of war and it would have the right to shoot down US warplanes.

Trump said the North Korean leader was behaving “very badly”.

Trump blamed previous US presidents for failing to deal with the North Korean threat. He declared: “I will fix this mess.”

He added that all nations must act now for the denuclearisation of North Korea.

China and sanctions

Trump repeated praise he offered last week for China’s reported breaking off of banking relations with North Korea.

There has been no official confirmation from China of such a step. China is North Korea’s most important trading partner.

The Trump administration today announced new sanctions to punish eight North Korean banks and 26 bank workers living abroad.

The sanctions rely on an executive order President Donald Trump signed last week to target North Korea’s access to the international banking system. They come as the United Nations has also recently passed its toughest sanctions package targeting North Korea.

The eight banks are all in North Korea. The Treasury Department says the 26 individuals are North Korean nationals employed by those banks who work in Russia, China, Libya and the United Arab Emirates.

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