SEOUL – US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday his nation’s military strength and his administration’s tough stance towards North Korea would compel Pyongyang to participate in dialogue to reduce tensions in the region.
“We are showing great strength, I think they understand that we have unparalleled strength,” Trump said in Seoul at a press conference when asked about Washington’s stance towards Kim Jong-un’s regime and the possibility of bringing North Korea to negotiations over denuclearization.
“I really believe it makes sense for North Korea to come to the table and make a deal (...). I do see certain movement yes, but let’s see what happens,” Trump said during the joint press conference with his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in, with whom he also held a summit in Seoul on Tuesday.
Trump also insisted that his country was ready to use “the full range of our unmatched military capabilities (against North Korea) if need be.”
He said the Pentagon currently has a submarine and three nuclear-powered aircraft carriers in the vicinity of the Korean peninsula – an operational deployment seldom seen in peacetime – in a show of force against the North Korean regime and its ongoing nuclear weapons tests.
“We hope to God we never have to use (them),” he said in reference to the military assets.
Trump, however, said that Washington continues to seek all solutions, including diplomatic ones, and urged the entire international community, including China and Russia, to work together towards getting North Korea to abandon its nuclear program.
He also called for the implementation of the sanctions imposed by the United Nations for North Korea’s tests and called for completely abandoning trade to exert more pressure on the isolated country, in a clear reference to Beijing, Pyongyang’s main ally. Trump will travel there on Wednesday as part of his tour of Asia.