Donald Trump has issued a new warning to North Korea following allegations that the Chinese have been smuggling oil into the hermit nation.

Speaking to the New York Times, Trump stressed that China had to do more to help diffuse the growing geopolitical crisis in the Korean peninsula.

Trump, citing a report he had seen on Fox News, said that oil going to North Korea, "wasn't my deal."

He reiterated that the US had to "treat [North Korea] rough. They're a nuclear menace so we have to be very tough."

The president refused to give more details about what he was going to do about the situation, but warned that "if [China] don't help us with North Korea, then I do what I've always said I want to do."

The president, who has described himself as the "big trade guy", said that only one thing supercedes trade, and that was war.

He warned China, saying that they had "tremendous power" over the Kim regime, but they had to be "much stronger" if there was to ever be a diplomatic solution.

On Thursday (28 December), reacting to the reports of oil being shipped from China to North Korea, Trump tweeted that there will "never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem."

Trump has repeatedly threatened Pyongyang over the past 12 months in what has played out as escalating game of verbal jibes between himself and Kim Jong-un regime.

Fresh UN sanctions and ongoing North Korea missile tests have ratcheted up already high tensions between the hermit nation and the US.

Over the summer, Donald Trump threatened the North Korea with "fire and fury" if they continued their nuclear missile developments.

This prompted angry responses from Pyongyang, including the state-run newspaper calling for rump to face the death sentence.

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15 May 2017: US President Donald Trump speaks at the National Peace Officers Memorial Service on the West Lawn of the US Capitol Kevin Lamarque/Reuters