LONDON — President Donald Trump on Thursday morning said he would meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss the North Korean nuclear crisis, an issue the White House has repeatedly criticized Beijing over.
Trump spoke with Xi by phone Thursday, White House spokesman Sarah Sanders said.
The call was Trump’s first since taking office last week.
“The president and I have spoken by phone,” Sanders said during a daily briefing.
“We are working with the Chinese government to try to resolve the North Korea nuclear issue, including in a constructive way.”
China has repeatedly accused North Korea of trying to develop a nuclear weapon capable of striking the U.S. mainland.
Trump has called for a summit with Xi, who was elected president in November, to discuss North Korea.
Trump, a former reality TV star, has repeatedly said he wants to avoid a military confrontation with China, a major economic and diplomatic rival.
Trump’s administration has pushed back on that position, insisting China would not get involved in the conflict and saying it was too early to declare a no-first-use policy.
Trump said Thursday he hoped to have an announcement on the matter next week.
He also said he is confident that the U,S.
will be able to win a “massive” trade agreement with China if the two countries agree to the terms.
The U.N. Security Council unanimously passed a resolution in September condemning North Korea’s recent nuclear test and missile launch.
The Security Council also passed a second resolution in December calling on North Korea to give up its nuclear and missile programs.