Trump: ‘Major, major’ conflict with N. Korea possible

Credit: Pool

Credit: Pool

President Donald Trump said "a major, major conflict" with North Korea is possible in the standoff over its nuclear and missile programs, but he is hoping for a peaceful solution to the problem, Reuters reported.

“There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely,” Trump told Reuters in an Oval Office interview on Thursday.

Trump said he wanted to peacefully resolve the crisis, but is not taking the military option off the table.

"We'd love to solve things diplomatically but it's very difficult," he told Reuters during a 42-minute interview.

The president also said he wants South Korea to pay the cost of the U.S. THAAD anti-missile defense system, which he estimated at $1 billion, and said he intends to renegotiate or terminate a U.S. free trade pact with South Korea because of a deep trade deficit with Seoul, Reuters reported.

Asked when he would announce his intention to renegotiate the pact, Trump said: “Very soon. I’m announcing it now.”

Meanwhile, a  top foreign policy adviser to South Korean presidential front-runner Moon Jae-in said Friday that Trump's suggestion that Seoul foot the bill for the THAAD system would be an "impossible option," Reuters reported.