|Donald Trump has said that a “major conflict” is possible with North Korea though he would prefer to solve the standoff over the country’s nuclear and missile programmes through diplomacy. Trump’s warning on Thursday came as a concerted effort to restrain Pyongyang from carrying out major new weapons tests was being made.|
A ballistic missile launched early Saturday by North Korea in defiance of international pressure and at a time of heightened regional tensions appears to have failed. The missile blew up over land in North Korean territory. Trump cast the launch as a direct snub against China, one of North Korea's only allies and a nation seen by the Trump administration as a potential US ally in efforts to stamp out Pyongyang's nuclear program.
|“There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely,” Trump told Reuters.|
The Chinese had warned Pyongyang, an increasingly unruly client in recent years, that it would impose punitive measures if North Korea carried out provocative tests. China refused to confirm or deny the US claim of new pressure. A foreign ministry spokesman reiterated China’s support for UN sanctions on the North but stopped short of commenting on China's plans.