In a speech before the South Korean National Assembly, US President Donald Trump has called on North Korea to give up its nuclear ambitions, saying further nuclear provocations will put the country in danger. He, however, avoided threatening the North with “fire and fury,” suggesting that the diplomatic option is viable to resolve the crisis.
“The weapons you are acquiring are not making you safer, they are putting your regime in grave danger. Every step you take down this dark path increases the peril you face,” Trump told South Korean lawmakers on Wednesday.
His speech came hours after the US president was forced to abort a surprise visit to the Korean demilitarized zone (DMZ) due to bad weather.
Trump also warned that the US was prepared to use military force if necessary and called for the international community to join forces “to isolate the brutal regime of North Korea – to deny it any form of support, supply, or acceptance.”
“Today, I hope I speak not only for our countries, but for all civilized nations, when I say to the North: Do not underestimate us. And do not try us,” he said. “We will defend our common security, our shared prosperity and our sacred liberty.”
Addressing the North Korean leader directly, the US president added, “North Korea is not the paradise your grandfather envisioned. It is a hell that no person deserves.”
He, however, said that there could be a “brighter path” if Pyongyang abandoned its nuclear and missile development program, leaving the diplomatic solution to the crisis on the table.
“We will offer a path to a much better future. It begins with an end to the aggression of your regime, a stop to your development of ballistic missiles and completely verifiable and total denuclearization,” Trump said.
Ending his speech, Trump said that the US dreamed of a free and secure Korean Peninsula as well as reuniting separated families from the two Koreas.
“Together, we dream of a Korea that is free, a peninsula that is safe, and families that are reunited once again. We dream of highways connecting North and South, of cousins embracing cousins, and this nuclear nightmare replaced with the beautiful promise of peace,” the president said.
Trump is currently on his Asia tour, which began in Japan on Sunday. On Tuesday, Trump held a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, during which they discussed the North Korean issue and the deliveries of US weapons to South Korea.