Rallying the world to stand up to the N. Korean threat is the central mission of Trump’s trip to Asia
WASHINGTON • President Donald Trump called on the world to abandon support for Kim Jong-un’s regime, saying the dictator has turned North Korea into “a hell that no person deserves”.
Calling out by name Russia and China, he said that all responsible nations must join forces to deny Kim’s regime any form of support, supply or acceptance. He offered a stinging attack on Kim himself, reeling of a litany of alleged human-rights abuses and calling him a “deranged tyrant” presiding over a “cult”.
“The longer we wait, the greater the danger grows, and the fewer the options become,” Trump said at South Korea’s National Assembly, in the first address to the legislature by an American president in nearly a quarter-century. “And to those nations that choose to ignore this threat — or, worse still, to enable it — the weight of this crisis is on your conscience.”
Rallying the world to stand up to the North Korean threat is the central mission of Trump’s trip to Asia. Trump spoke just hours before his first trip as president to China, where he will visit the Forbidden City ahead of a private dinner with President Xi Jinping and their spouses.
On Tuesday, Trump appeared to temper his often fiery rhetoric toward North Korea, instead calling for it to “make a deal” on its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.
Trump yesterday said he’s ready to offer North Korea “a path to a much better future” if it puts an end to aggression, stops development of ballistic missiles and undergoes “complete, verifiable and total denuclearisation”.
Still, he also gave a warning to Kim directly, noting that the US has aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines nearby. He said he wants “peace through strength” and gave a forceful assurance the US would back South Korea and their security alliance — something the South Koreans had sought ahead of the trip.
“We will not permit America or our allies to be blackmailed or attacked,” Trump said. “We will not allow American cities to be threatened. We will not be intimidated.”
The US president contrasted conditions in North Korea with those in the South, saying the world had observed “the results of a tragic experiment in a laboratory of history” in the Communist nation. “It is a tale of one people, but two Koreas,” Trump said.
At one point in the speech, he noted that this is the oneyear anniversary of his election and included his usual litany of accomplishments — a record-high stock market, low unemployment and even his appointment of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. He also noted that a Korean woman golfer won at this year’s US Open — held at Trump’s Bedminster golf course.
White House aides said they saw the South Korea speech as an opportunity for Trump to call on the international community to join together to maximise pressure on North Korea.