President Donald Trump sent a strong message to North Korea, warning that the United States would defend South Korea and other allies from any attacks.
“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.
The president made his remarks during a speech to the South Korean National Assembly as part of his official state visit to the country, where he met with South Korean President Moon about trade and the threat posed by North Korea.
Trump commented on the increased levels of military readiness from the United States in response to the hostile actions of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
“I want peace through strength,” Trump said to applause from the South Korean leaders in the assembly.
The president sent a message directly to Jong-un in his speech.
“The weapons that you are acquiring, they are putting you in grave danger,” he said. “North Korea is not the paradise that your grandfather envisioned, it is the hell that no person deserves.”
Trump painted the difference between South Korea and North Korea in stark terms. He described North Korea as a “prison state, a nuclear nightmare, and a cult” where workers are forced to work and live in squalid conditions with little pay.
“The more successful South Korea becomes, the more decisively you discredit the dark fantasy at the heart of the Kim regime,” he said.
He specifically highlighted horrific abortion and infanticide practices committed by North Korean officials.
“Why would China feel an obligation to help North Korea?” he asked.
Trump called for world nations to unite against the threat of North Korea, pointing to decades of failed diplomacy and global inaction for allowing them to successfully pursuing a nuclear weapons program.
The president’s remarks were welcomed with applause, especially after he called for strength in the face of the hostile threat posed by North Korea.
“The world cannot tolerate the menace of a rogue regime that threatens it with nuclear devastation,” he said. “All responsible nations must join forces to isolate the brutal regime of North Korea — to deny it any form of support, supply, or acceptance.”