In a speech to South Korea’s National Assembly, President Donald Trump called on the world—and especially China and Russia—to abandon support for Kim Jong Un’s regime, saying Kim has turned North Korea into “a hell that no person deserves.”
“The horror of life in North Korea is so complete that citizens pay bribes to government officials to have themselves exported aboard as slaves,” Trump said. “They would rather be slaves than live in North Korea.”
Trump said that all responsible nations must join forces to deny Kim’s regime any form of support, or acceptance, calling out China—where Trump will visit next in his Asian tour—by name.
He also offered a sharp attack of Kim himself, 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, just hours before heading to China for the first time as president where he will visit the Forbidden City and have a private dinner with President Xi Jinping. “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.”
The central mission of Trump’s trip to Asia is to rally the hermit nation’s neighbors to stand up to the North Korean threat. And it’s no wonder, tensions between Kim’s regime and the U.S. have been growing for months and the threat to the whole region, and to the U.S. mainland with the advancement of North Korea’s nuclear warhead capabilities, is growing.
On Tuesday, Trump tempered his usual fiery rhetoric toward North Korea calling for the country to “make a deal” on its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. He then said on Wednesday that he’s ready to offer North Korea “a path to a much better future” if Kim’s regime puts an end to its aggressions, stops the development of its ballistic missiles, and undergoes “complete, verifiable and total denuclearization.”
He went on to warn Kim specifically of the U.S. aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines in the area. Trump said he desires “peace through strength,” and gave forceful assurance that the U.S. would back South Korea and its security alliance.
“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.”