(CNSNews.com) - When asked whether President Donald Trump has a red line when it comes to North Korea, the White House said Monday that drawing lines hasn’t work in the past, so you won’t see Trump drawing one, but the action he took in Syria, for example, shows that he will take “decisive action” when necessary.
“I think when we talked about ... the use of red lines in the past with respect to Syria, the president’s made lines-- you know, that drawing lines hasn’t really worked in the past. He holds his cards close to the vest, and I think you’re not going to see him telegraphing how he’s going to respond to any military or other situation going forward,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said.
“That’s just something he believes has not served us well in the past. We did this with Mosul. We start to talk about what the action will be months in advance, and it really gives the intended recipient of action a heads up as to what’s going on, so I don’t think that you’re going to see the president drawing red lines in the sand, but I think that the action that he took in Syria shows that when appropriate, this president will take decisive action,” Spicer added.
Spicer said that the president had “a good meeting” with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Mar-a-Lago, “and the results of that are paying off.”
“I think you see China playing a much more active role with respect to North Korea. Both politically and economically, they can continue to apply pressure to achieve results, and I think we’re gonna continue to urge China to exhibit its influence in the region to get better results,” Spicer said.
A reporter pointed out that the North Koreans launched a ballistic missile test over the weekend.
“I understand that, and it failed,” Spicer said. “We’re well aware of what’s going on. We monitored that situation. The president was kept up-to-date as you know, but I think that we’re going to continue to work with China in particular to help find a way forward on this.”
A reporter asked what kind of pressure China is putting on North Korea in light of a BBC report that the North Korean vice foreign minister said Monday that North Korea will test its missiles on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis.
Spicer refused to say publicly what the administration will do or what it will ask others to do, but he noted that China is the number one importer of North Korean coal and “to see them curtail some of that has a real economic impact on the region.”
“There’s a lot of economic and political pressure points that I think China can utilize, and we’ve been very encouraged with the direction in which they’re going,” he said.
“But it seems as if North Korea is essentially - just based upon what they tried to do over the weekend - thumbing its nose at even China because of what they attempted to do,” the reporter said.
“I understand the question,” Spicer said. “I think we’re just not there yet. We’ve got a lot of tools left and a lot of conversations that are ongoing, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I think we’ve had a very productive direction that we’ve seen China move in, and I think there’s an agreement I think by everyone so far that a nuclear capable North Korea is not in anybody’s best interest, and I think we’re going to continue to work with the Chinese in particular on this case.”