National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster attempted to make clear Sunday that President Trump is seeking international support in trying to stop North Korea’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon, reasserting Trump’s vow that the U.S. will no longer be the world’s policeman.
“It’s an open defiance of the international community,” McMaster, a retired Army general, told “Fox News Sunday.” “It’s important for all of us to confront this regime… . None of us can accept a North Korea with a nuclear weapon.”
From essentially the start of Trump’s winning presidential campaign, he has criticized previous administrations about the financial and geo-political consequences of leading efforts to police or overthrow foreign regimes. He even threatened to resign from NATO unless other countries started paying their fair share for such efforts.
“We cannot be the policeman of the world,” Trump said in a September 2016 presidential debate. “We cannot protect countries all over the world, where they’re not paying us what we need.”
Trump has since taking office attempted to form alliances with world leaders to solve such global crises as the Syrian civil war and the North Korea nuclear threat, including an outreach to China President XI Jinping.
“The president, I think, has been masterful in terms his development of a relationship with President Xi and in the discussions that led them to the place where the United States and the Chinese understand their interests overlap.”
Trump, who last week warned about the potential for a “major conflict” with North Korea, has also tried to strength relations with U.S. ally Japan. In February, he hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with the two playing golf at Trump’s course in Jupiter, Fla.
McMaster on Sunday set out several options toward ending North Korea’s efforts — a combination of nuclear tests and trying to develop a rocket that could carry a nuclear weapon.
He said world leaders could enforce existing economic sanctions, impose additional ones or possibly taking military action.
McMaster also said China, essential to North Korea’s economy, has shown a “willingness to act and resolve this conflict short of military conflict.”