President Donald Trump praised China for “helping” the US in the North Korean crisis in a Sunday TV interview with Fox News network and noted that he has an “exceptional relationship” with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Trump also said on Fox’s “Sunday Morning Futures” that China has the “power to do something very significant” in the continuing face off with Pyongyang.

Regardless of Xi’s actions, Trump went on to say that the US is prepared to pursue all options when it comes to dealing with the North and touted US military readiness.

“We are so prepared like you wouldn’t believe,” the president said.

On the steps that China’s taken so far in the crisis, Trump said: “(China is) closing off their banking systems to North Korea. They have cut the oil way down. Now, the banking systems we can see, because they all come through [the United States] as you know.”

Korea JoongAng Daily noted that Trump’s TV interview came as US Defense Secretary James Mattis was preparing for a trilateral meeting with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts in the Philippines Monday on the sidelines of the two-day Asean Defense Ministers’ Meeting-Plus.

South Korean military officials were quoted as saying that Mattis and the two other defense ministers would discuss joint countermeasures against the North’s nuke and missile threats. The three are also expected to draft a stern warning to the regime not to raise regional tensions.