“We hope to God we never have to use” military force against North Korea, U.S. President Donald Trump said at a joint news conference in South Korea.
Trump made the remark after describing the U.S. military’s “strength” in the region, where nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers have been deployed as a warning to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to halt his nuclear and missile programmes.
“I really believe it makes sense for North Korea to come to the table,” Trump said.
He said he sees “certain movement” towards that end on Pyongyang’s behalf.
Trump called on Russia and China to do more to deal with North Korea, which he called a “worldwide threat that requires worldwide action.”
“We call on every responsible nation, including China and Russia, to demand the North Korean regime end its nuclear weapons and missile programmes.”
He described South Korea as a “long-standing ally of the U.S. We are partners and friends who have fought side by side in a war.” Trump added that “we cannot allow North Korea to threaten all that we have built.”
Trump said that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “is threatening millions and millions of lives so needlessly.”
“The United States stands prepared to defend itself and its allies using the full range of its defence capabilities,” he added.
South Korean President Moon Jae In announced that he and Trump had agreed to increase the payload for Seoul’s missile arsenal in the face of threats from Pyongyang.
Trump “has reaffirmed his iron-clad commitment to defend South Korea,” Moon told the joint news conference.
“We agreed to work towards resolving the North Korean nuclear issue in a peaceful manner and bringing permanent peace to the Korean Peninsula,” he said.
While urging Pyongyang to halt its missile provocations, Moon also said that “we are willing to offer North Korea a bright future.”
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