Twitter is the favorite social media platform of President-elect Donald Trump, and he has demonstrated ths yet again. On Monday, Trump again used Twitter to shape his foreign policy message, criticizing China and North Korea in two posts.
Trump takes on China and North Korea
In the first tweet, Trump said North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon, which is capable of reaching parts of the United States.
North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the U.S. It won't happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2017
Trump’s first tweet remarked on the news that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had said that his government is completing a test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
The North Korean leader said during his speech on New Year’s Day, “Research and development of cutting edge arms equipment is actively progressing and ICBM rocket test launch preparation is in its last stage.”
Almost an hour later, the President-elect blamed Beijing for not cracking down on North Korea’s weapons development.
In a Twitter post, Trump said, “China has been taking out massive amounts of money & wealth from the U.S. in totally one-sided trade, but won’t help with North Korea. Nice!”
North Korea’s military has often showcased a long-range missile known as the KN-08, but it has not test-launched the weapon yet. Experts estimate that this weapon has a range that could reach the continental U.S.
North Korea conducted two nuclear tests in 2016 had test-launched dozens of rockets. Many U.S. presidents have attempted to stop North Korea from building and testing nuclear weapons, but with little success so far. North Korea’s defiance has left it diplomatically and economically isolated from much of the world, with the exception of China, says The Wall Street Journal.
Trump is unpredictable on Twitter
Trump has frequently used his Twitter account to criticize China, whereas he has always defended or praised Russia’s leadership. China’s government did not immediately respond to Trump’s tweets. However, the U.S. and North Korea-watching community shrugged them off, notes The WSJ.
U.S. frustration with Beijing over North Korea is nothing new, said Shi Yinhong, director of the Center for American Studies at Renmin University. Shi said Trump’s comments regarding China’s perceived passivity on North Korea‘s nuclear program are very much in line with the overwhelming consensus view in U.S. diplomatic circles, notes The WSJ.
It is unknown how Trump will handle North Korea and other countries, but critics warn that his inflammatory rhetoric could be a negative for the U.S. on the world stage. The President-elect’s unpredictable use of Twitter hangs a cloud of uncertainty over the presidency as well.