Both The Washington Post and CNN obtained audio of a speech Donald Trump gave to a group of Missouri donors on Wednesday in which he criticized several countries, including Canada, about trade agreements several allies had with the U.S.
“We have a very big trade deficit with them, and we protect them,” Trump said, according to both news outlets. “We lose money on trade, and we lose money on the military. We have right now 32,000 soldiers on the border between North and South Korea. Let’s see what happens.”
Trump’s comments come after South Korea managed to set up a meeting between the U.S. and North Korea. North Korea’s state media has yet to comment on the pending summit.
On Thursday, the head of U.S. Pacific Command said should Trump meet with the North, the U.S. must go into the talks with “eyes wide open” and not be overly optimistic about the outcome of the talks.
Admiral Harry Harris told the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee that he believed the United States would stick to its demand for the “complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula.
“We’ve never been in a position where a president – our president – has met with a leader of North Korea, ever. I don’t know how to predict the future. I just think we have to go into this with eyes wide open.”
Trump made a surprise announcement last week that he was willing to meet Kim in a bid to resolve the crisis over North Korea’s development of nuclear missiles capable of hitting the United States.
Harris also told the committee Kim would be a “happy man” if Trump pulls troops from the peninsula.
“I do believe, in a general sense, Kim Jong Un seeks reunification of the Korean peninsula under his leadership. He seeks respect and status that nuclear weapons gives him, and he seeks security, which he believes the nuclear weapons give him,” Harris said.
“I believe he would do a victory dance,” Harris added, when asked about a hypothetical troop pullout. “I think he’d be a happy man if we abrogated our alliance with South Korea and with Japan.”
WATCH: Trump says he thinks North Korea wants to make peace
The Trump administration has said it prefers a diplomatic solution to the North Korea crisis, but that all options are on the table, including military ones, and officials have spoken of the possibility of a limited preventive strike on North Korea.
–with files from Reuters