U.S. President Donald Trump said had it not been for the November presidential election, countries such as North Korea, Iran, and China would have come back to the negotiation table. Citing the increase in the amount of defense cost sharing on allies as one of his top priorities after reelection, the U.S. president has made it clear that there will be pressure for burden-sharing.
In a phone-call interview with Fox News on Wednesday, President Trump said that Iran, China, and North Korea would have all come to the negotiation table within 24 hours in the hopes of an agreement, if it were not in an election period.
President Trump said the three countries are seeking to wait and see for now, implying that there is only a slim chance for having a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un before the election.
“America is ready to talk with North Korea,” U.S. Deputy Special Representative for North Korea Alex Wong said during his UN deputy ambassador confirmation hearing, but he added that a working-level negotiation has yet to be finalized for a shared roadmap.
As for his top priorities once he is reelected, President Trump chose economic development and a fair sharing of defense costs with allies. “They have been ripping us off for years,” claimed Trump, repeating on his case that America is protecting its allies, but they remain delinquent for years. This can be interpreted as a declaration to push allies including South Korean to pony up more for burden-sharing once he wins the November election.