The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Trump breaks silence on North Korea, defends reversal on China

President Trump on Sunday defended his recent about-face on calling China a currency manipulator, saying he welcomes the country’s help in dealing with North Korea.

The comment on Twitter was the first from Trump since North Korea’s latest missile launch.

“Why would I call China a currency manipulator when they are working with us on the North Korean problem?” Trump wrote on Twitter.

“We will see what happens!” he added.

Trump, spending a long weekend at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, had remained silent and largely stayed out of sight Saturday while North Korea staged a huge parade in Pyongyang to showcase its military prowess and later launched a ballistic missile that exploded within seconds.

The president spend both Friday and Saturday mornings golfing at his private club in Palm Beach, Fla., and held no public events.

North Korea tops Pence’s agenda during four-nation Asia trip

During his presidential campaign, Trump often claimed that China was manipulating the value of its currency to boost its exports, a policy that cost the United States manufacturing jobs. He promised to label the country a currency manipulator on Day One of his administration.

But last week, he struck a different chord.

“They’re not currency manipulators,” Trump told the Wall Street Journal, adding that China hasn’t been manipulating its currency for months.

A few minutes after his tweet related to North Korea on Sunday, Trump sent out a second one.

“Happy Easter to everyone!” it said.