DONALD Trump believes 100 million people would have died if the US had gone to war with North Korea on the orders of Barack Obama, a new book claims.
Wead claims Trump reiterated to him his belief that Obama would have gone to war with Kim Jong-un if he had stayed in office.
"And I also think that thirty to one hundred million people could have been killed," Wead quoted the current US leader as saying.
US military ally South Korea has 51.2 million people while North Korea has an estimated population of 25 million.
Trump is then said to have expressed disbelief at experts' predictions that 100,000 to 200,000 people would die.
He said that number was the equivalent of the population of a South Korean village, claims Wead in his book.
"Well, as you know, Seoul, the capital city, is right by the so-called border," he continued, according to Wead.
"And that is a tough border by the way. An impenetrable border. And Seoul has a population of thirty million people.
"Kim has ten thousand guns, artillery, they call them cannons. He doesn't even need a nuclear weapon to create one of the greatest calamities in history."
It's not the first time Trump has claimed his predecessor was primed for war with the rogue state.
“I believe he would have gone to war with North Korea,” he said in the White House Rose Garden in February.
“I think he was ready to go to war. In fact, he told me he was so close to starting a big war with North Korea.”
He then told reporters days later: “Anybody else but me, you’d be in war right now. And I can tell you, the previous administration would have been in war right now if that was extended.
"You would, right now, be in a nice, big, fat war in Asia with North Korea if I wasn’t elected president.”
Nobody who worked for Obama has publicly endorsed this assessment, nor have any of the many memoirs disclosed any serious discussion of military action against North Korea.
Wead also claims Trump showed him a letter from his North Korean counterpart which made it clear he wanted to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War.
In one letter, Kim wrote: "I firmly believe that the strong will, sincere efforts and unique approach of myself and your Excellency, Mr. President, aimed at opening up a new future between the DPRK and the US will surely come to fruition."
Trump is also said to have defended the decision to stop the US's long-standing military manoeuvres on the Korean peninsula
"Cancelling the war games saved us millions of dollars and we can start them up anytime we want. So what had we given up, what?," he reportedly said.
That decision was widely criticised as a concession to the Kim in the wake of the so-called peace summit in Singapore.
But the agreement was short on specifics and negotiations have made little if any headway since.