(NationalSentinel)Â Defense: Ahead of a planned summit between President Donald J. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, the administration declared that “the clock has run out” on North Korea after decades of fruitless diplomacy aimed at convincing the Stalinist regime there to abandon its quest for nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them intercontinentally.
In issuingÂ the toughest language directed at Pyongyang in recent history, the Trump administration appears to be moving towards a military solution to the North’s increasing nuclear threat.
Days before President Trump hosts his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, a top U.S. official warned Tuesday that â€œthe clock has run outâ€ on decades of diplomatic efforts to rein in North Koreaâ€™s nuclear and missile programs, and military action may ultimately be necessary.
â€œThe clock has now run out, and all options are on the table for us,â€ the official told reporters at a briefing held on condition that he not be identified by name.
Hours after those remarks were reported, North KoreaÂ fired a ballistic missile into the waters off its east coast, according to South Korean officials.
Trump will host Xi at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. In addition to trade talks, frank discussions regarding the fate of North Korea are also expected. The White House has been clear ahead of the meeting that it doesn’t believe China is doing enough to curb the actions of its belligerent neighbor.
â€œIt is now urgent, because we feel that the clock is very, very quickly running out,â€ the official told reporters. â€œWe would have loved to see North Korea join the community of nations. Theyâ€™ve been given that opportunity over the course of different dialogues and offers over the course of four administrations, with some of our best diplomats and statesmen doing the best they could to bring about a resolution.â€
Xiâ€™s willingness to work more closely with Washington on North Korea will be â€œin some ways, a test of the relationship,â€ the official said.
In recent weeks Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis have both sounded bellicose when discussing North Korea, each intimating that the North is running out of time to resolve the situation peacefully.