WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says if the U.S. takes a military option in dealing with the threat from North Korea "it will be devastating."
Trump says that "we are totally prepared" for a military option, but it's not the preferred one. He says: "If we have to take it, we will."
Trump spoke at a White House news conference Tuesday. He was asked about comments from North Korea's foreign minister, who on Monday said that Trump's recent threatening statements toward the North were a declaration of war and it would have the right to shoot down U.S. warplanes.
Trump said the North Korean leader was behaving "very badly."
Trump blamed previous U.S. presidents for failing to deal with the North Korean threat. He declared: "I will fix this mess."
"North Korea is a situation that should have been handled 25 years ago, 20 years ago, 15 years ago, 10 years ago, 5 years ago," Trump says. pic.twitter.com/5A6iTm2LW8— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 26, 2017
President Donald Trump says it's time for all nations "to join forces to isolate to the North Korean menace."
He says all nations must act now for the denuclearization of North Korea.
Trump repeated praise he offered last week for China's reported breaking off of banking relations with North Korea.
There has been no official confirmation from China of such a step. China is North Korea's most important trading partner.
Trump was speaking at a press conference Tuesday after meeting the leader of Spain.
The Trump administration on Tuesday announced new sanctions against North Korean banks.
The Trump administration is using new sanctions authority to punish eight North Korean banks and 26 bank workers living abroad.
The sanctions rely on an executive order President Donald Trump signed last week to target North Korea's access to the international banking system. They come as the United Nations has also recently passed its toughest sanctions package targeting North Korea.
The eight banks are all in North Korea. The Treasury Department says the 26 individuals are North Korean nationals employed by those banks who work in Russia, China, Libya and the United Arab Emirates.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the U.S. is targeting those "across the globe" who facilitate financial transactions for North Korea. He says it's part of the effort to isolate North Korea over its nuclear weapons program.
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