Yesterday President Trump met with the U.N. ambassadors of the current members of the U.N. Security Council (as well as with American ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley). The meeting took place at the White House. Trump has been a hard critic of the U.N., so the meeting with Security Council member nations is a bit of a surprise. The current membership of the council includes the five permanent members:
- Russian Federation
- the United Kingdom
- the United States
And the ten members currently in the rotating seats:
At the meeting the President told the ambassadors:
The status quo in North Korea is also unacceptable, and the Council must be prepared to impose additional and stronger sanctions on North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile programs. This is a real threat to the world, whether we want to talk about it or not. North Korea is a big world problem, and it’s a problem we have to finally solve. People have put blindfolds on for decades, and now it’s time to solve the problem.
Recently the President tweeted that if China doesn’t help solve the North Korean problem, the U.S. will solve it unilaterally.
North Korea 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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2017
And today Chinese president Xi Jinping urged restraint from the President in a call the two shared. It appears North Korea is preparing another missile test, and Xi wants the President to maintain restraint. The New York Times reports:
The phone conversation came after Mr. Trump had already used a meeting with Mr. Xi in Florida, a follow-up phone call, interviews and Twitter messages to press Mr. Xi to do more to deter North Korea from holding additional nuclear and missile tests. The United States and its allies have been on alert for another atomic test by the North.
In the latest call, the third between the two leaders, Mr. Xi indicated to Mr. Trump that China opposed any such test by North Korea, but he also nudged Mr. Trump to avoid a tit-for-tat response to the North’s fiery threats, according to a report on Chinese television.
But more interesting than the back and forth between Trump and the world’s leaders is a meeting set for today between the entire U.S. Senate, and four Trump administration officials. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. What exactly will the four be telling the Senate? Is the Trump administration asking for tougher sanctions? Is military action against North Korea’s missile program on the table?