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President Donald Trump on Monday pledged to "handle" North Korea's belligerence — without saying exactly how he would do so as he faces rising tensions and limited options.
"We'll handle North Korea. ... It will be handled. We handle everything," Trump told reporters ahead of a Cabinet meeting, flanked by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis.
The isolated nation flouted its nuclear ambitions again Friday in the face of international resistance, launching an intercontinental ballistic missile that may have the ability to reach the United States.
Trump has repeatedly pressed China — North Korea's only major ally — to put more economic pressure on Pyongyang, lamenting that he has few other options left to try to check North Korea. Trump did not hint at what actions he could take on Monday, but recent comments suggest he could take more steps to try to get China to act.
Over the weekend, he appeared to warn of economic retaliation against China over its effectiveness in curbing Pyongyang's aggression.
"I am very disappointed in China," Trump wrote in a pair of tweets. "Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk. We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem!"
Things will only get worse before they get better in North Korea: CNAS' Patrick Cronin