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Donald Trump hints at pulling troops from South Korea over trade, a move that would make Kim Jong Un very happy

Click to play video: 'Admiral says U.S. has no ‘bloody nose strategy’ for North Korea' Admiral says U.S. has no ‘bloody nose strategy’ for North Korea
WATCH: The head of the U.S. Pacific Command Admiral Harry Harris told the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee the United States cannot be overly optimistic about the outcome of any summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and must go into it with "eyes wide open." – Mar 16, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump appeared to suggest he would pull troops from the Korean peninsula over a trade spat with the South, a move that would make North’s leader Kim Jong Un a “happy man.”

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.”

READ MORE: Donald Trump claims, again, U.S. has trade deficit with Canada — after admitting he made it up

Click to play video: 'Audio catches Trump boasting about fabricating trade facts during meeting with Trudeau' Audio catches Trump boasting about fabricating trade facts during meeting with Trudeau
Audio catches Trump boasting about fabricating trade facts during meeting with Trudeau – Mar 15, 2018

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.

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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.

WATCH: Kim Jong Un would do a ‘victory dance’ if Trump pulled troops out of South Korea
Click to play video: 'Kim Jong Un would do a ‘victory dance’ if Trump pulled troops out of South Korea: military' Kim Jong Un would do a ‘victory dance’ if Trump pulled troops out of South Korea: military
Kim Jong Un would do a ‘victory dance’ if Trump pulled troops out of South Korea: military – Mar 16, 2018

“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.

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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.

READ MORE: North Korea still silent on planned meeting with Donald Trump

“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

Click to play video: 'Trump says he thinks North Korea wants to make peace' Trump says he thinks North Korea wants to make peace
Trump says he thinks North Korea wants to make peace – Mar 10, 2018

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.

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–with files from Reuters

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