WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump countered claims by Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.) that the United States is on the path to World War III, saying that the United States is on the right path when it comes to North Korea.
“We were on the wrong path before. All you have to do is take a look. If you look over the last 25 years through numerous administrations, we were on a path to a very big problem—a problem like this world has never seen,” Trump said on Tuesday.
Trump has been critical of previous U.S. administrations for being unable to prevent North Korea from developing its nuclear weapons program.
In recent weeks the North has made several claims that its nuclear weapons program is nearing completion. North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un stepped up the program after coming to power in 2011 following the death of his father Kim Jong Il.
Corker criticized Trump’s foreign policy in an interview published with The New York Times on Oct. 8.
“The fact is, this president has been an incredibly strong leader on foreign policy and national security. And he’s been a leader on this front,” Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said on Oct. 10 when asked about Corker’s comments.
Sanders pointed to the fact that over 20 countries have significantly reduced economic and diplomatic ties with North Korea since Trump came to office. After months of diplomatic pressure on China, Trump was able to get the Chinese regime to agree to impose new sanctions on the North in September.
The new sanctions, which were approved by the U.N. Security Council on Sept. 11, prohibit all gas sales to the North and limits the amount of oil that can be sold to it.
China’s Central Bank also took the unprecedented step of informing Chinese banks to no longer provide financial services to the North. China also informed North Korean businesses operating in the country that they have to close within 120 days.
“His vision of principled realism is creating calm around the world and defeating our enemies,” Sanders said.
President Trump said last week that he has made a decision on what to do with the Iran Nuclear deal reached in 2015.
Trump has said that Iran has not lived up to the spirit of the agreement.
The deal, named the the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was passed in 2015 between Iran and the U.S. as well as other world powers. The agreement provided Iran with a relief in sanctions as well as billions of dollars in exchange for a sharp reduction in its uranium enrichment. Critics, however, have pointed to the terms of the agreement which allow Iran to install thousands of advanced uranium centrifuges after ten years. At that point Iran could develop a nuclear weapon in as little as 6 months.
President Trump has criticized Sen. Corker’s role in the agreement, saying in a tweet on Oct. 8: “Bob Corker gave us the Iran Deal, & that’s about it.”
Bob Corker gave us the Iran Deal, & that's about it. We need HealthCare, we need Tax Cuts/Reform, we need people that can get the job done!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 8, 2017
He wrote in a different tweet that Corker “is also largely responsible for the horrendous Iran Deal!”
Corker authored the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review of 2015, which helped pave the way for the Iran nuclear deal through Congress.
With reporting by Charlotte Cuthbertson