Donald Trump’s hard-line response to Kim Jong-un’s concerns over the language used by Mike Pence in that interview stems from the surprise meeting the North Korean leader held with Chinese President Xi Jingping on the 8th May. As reported by the Financial Times Donald Trump said, “I will say I'm a little disappointed, because when Kim Jong Un had the meeting with President Xi in China.” He goes on to say “I think there was a little change in attitude from Kim Jong Un. So I don’t like that. I don’t like it from the standpoint of China”.

However, it was reported from the meeting by Chinese news agency Xinhua, that Kim stated he was “committed to denuclearisation” within the Korean peninsular but it does hinge on the US to “abolish their hostilities and remove security threats” against North Korea.

The potential US diplomatic disaster

These demands are not unreasonable but Donald Trump and his administration’s response has been to say that military intervention is not off the table and these differences will remain and unless they are willing to change their approach, these peace talks are going to fail and it is likely to push them further into the arms of China, which would be a diplomatic disaster for the US. This comes after Chinese Premier called for China and the US to solve the trade issue and maintain communications as currently, the US hard-nosed rhetoric is more likely to result in a trade war.

China’s power in the world is only increasing and with more nation states switching their allegiances with the US to China, the concern for US is only increasing and these talks in Korea are seen as an important step in maintain global power, because if the US can pull this off and maintain a cordial relationship, it will put some trust back in the US after the damage done by Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.

But if they fail, it is likely that South Korea and Japan may follow suit because it is going to be put doubt over the US’s ability to act on Article 5 of the NATO treaty, especially as North Korea will more than likely still be maintaining their nuclear arsenal.