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‘We’re Not Going to Do That’: Nikki Haley Responds to Proposal from China to Halt North Korea’s Nuke Problem

President Trump seems to have developed what he calls “great chemistry” with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

That relationship proved valuable in recent weeks, as North Korea – which counts China among the largest of its very few allies – has grown belligerent with its missile and nuclear weapons programs.

As Trump’s Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley explained to ABC News, however, there are limits to America’s cooperation with China – specifically, when it comes to U.S. ally South Korea.

With tensions running high in the region, China has served as something of a middleman – pressuring North Korea in regards to its nuclear weapon program, while urging “all parties” to “exercise restraint and avoid aggravating the situation.”

In March, China proposed its own solution to increased tensions, suggesting that North Korea might suspend its nuclear weapon and missile programs if the U.S. would agree to halt joint military operations with South Korea.

Though Haley praised China for showing “great concern” over North Korea, she made it clear Monday that the U.S. was not going to abandon its allies:

“We’re not going to do that. What we can say is South Korea has been an ally from the very beginning.

We want to protect them, just as we’re protecting ourselves, and that’s what we said we were going to do … we were going to have the backs of our allies and we were going to call out our adversaries.”

Still, instead of military action, experts believe if China wants to reign in North Korea, economic pressure is important – something argued by President Trump as well:

North Korea owes around two-thirds of its trade to China, the country could place crippling sanctions on the nation.

while China has tested the waters – suspending North Korean coal imports, for example – it remains unclear how far China will go.

Nonetheless, it seems as if the U.S. has not ruled out anything just yet.

As Haley herself said Monday, the U.S. does not want to “start a fight” with North Korea, warning Kim Jong Un’s regime not to “give us a reason” to start one.