North Korea forces Trump off campaign promises

Trump's China stance
Trump's China stance 00:37

Last Updated Apr 17, 2017 11:35 PM EDT

North Korea was unable to successfully test a missile over the weekend, but the country has been able to force President Trump off his campaign promises.

There were times when candidate Trump seemed to be running more against China than against Hillary Clinton. In May last year, he said, “we can’t continue to allow China to rape our country.”

And in his “Contract with the American Voter,” he promised that on day one of his administration he would direct his treasury secretary “to label China a currency manipulator.”

Now that he needs China’s help with North Korea, Mr. Trump tweeted on Sunday, “Why would I call China a currency manipulator when they are working with us on the North Korean problem?”

Mr. Trump has been pressuring China to take action on North Korea. Earlier last week, he tweeted that the country “is looking for trouble.” 

“If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.” he tweeted, echoing remarks he made earlier in April that the U.S. is prepared to act alone.

Vice President Mike Pence, who is in South Korea as part of a 10-day-trip to Asia, said Monday that the “era of strategic patience is over” with North Korea.

In this Fri., April 7, 2017 file photo, President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping pause for photographs at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla. AP

A former U.S. ambassador to South Korea has warned that the regime’s nuclear program has “accelerated in recent months.” 

“They’re really going full throttle for a nuclear option that could include holding the U.S. at risk,” said Christopher Hill, now dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver.

“What needs to be done now is a real full-court press with the Chinese, and what’s very, very important is to work closely with the South Koreans because every option may be on the table, but we don’t have the option of doing something without consulting with them,” he said.