President Trump's chief strategist Stephen Bannon appeared to break with the administration on North Korea Wednesday, saying that he doesn't believe there is a military solution to the escalating nuclear crisis.
“There’s no military solution [to North Korea’s nuclear threats], forget it," Bannon told The American Prospect in an interview published Wednesday.
"Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s no military solution here, they got us," he said.
Bannon's remarks to the liberal publication are a major break from Trump, who last week promised to meet North Korean aggression with "fire and fury" after the isolated nation announced it was developing a plan to attack the waters around Guam.
Bannon added that the U.S. is at "economic war" with China, calling North Korea a sideshow.
“We’re at economic war with China,” he continued. “It’s in all their literature. They’re not shy about saying what they’re doing. One of us is going to be a hegemon in 25 or 30 years and it’s gonna be them if we go down this path.
"On Korea, they’re just tapping us along," Bannon added. "It’s just a sideshow.”
Bannon's comments come just a day after North Korea reportedly backed off the threat to attack Guam but warned that the policy could again change in the future.
“If the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions on the Korean Peninsula and in its vicinity, testing the restraint of the DPRK, the [North] will make an important decision as it already declared,” North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Tuesday, according to the country’s state media.