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‘Do not try us,’ Trump says to North Korea

Posted November. 09, 2017 07:48,   

Updated November. 09, 2017 08:39


“Do not underestimate us. Do not try us. I want peace through strength,” U.S. President Donald Trump warned North Korea on Wednesday. In his speech to South Korea’s National Assembly, he has made himself clear that he will not allow nuclear provocation by Pyongyang. Trump has become the first U.S. president to speak at the South Korean National Assembly since 1993 when former President Bill Clinton visited South Korea.

President Trump blamed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, by saying that North Korea continues to “develop ICBMs to threaten the United States itself. This would be a fatal miscalculation. This is a very different administration than the United States has had in the past.”

In his 35-minute speech, Trump spent 24 minutes to criticize human rights issues and the system in North Korea. By referring North Korea as “a hell that no person deserves” or “the prison state,” Trump bashed a deranged belief of North Koreans in Kim, malnutrition of children and infants, forced labor and religious suppression. He called for execution of sanctions on North Korea by the international community, by saying, “We call on every nation, including China and Russia, to fully implement U.N. Security Council resolutions, downgrade diplomatic relations with the regime, and sever all ties of trade and technology.”

Trump said South Korea is a staunch ally of the United States, by saying, “I know that the Republic of Korea will be a faithful ally of the United States very long into the future.” He refrained from mentioning some key negotiation agenda between two governments such as FTA deal or sharing of defense cost for the United States Forces in Korea.

The last stop of Trump’s state visit in South Korea was the Seoul National Cemetery after his visit to the National Assembly. After his 2-day visit to South Korea, he set off for China to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Trump had planned a trip the demilitarized zone with Korean President Moon Jae-in by a helicopter before visiting the National Assembly but cancelled it due to a bad weather.

President Moon also started his 8-day tour in the Southeast Asia on Wednesday. Moon plans to meet Xi during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Vietnam beginning Friday.

Sang-Jun Han alwaysj@donga.com