SEOUL – US President Donald Trump issued a forceful warning to North Korea during a speech to the South Korean parliament on Wednesday.
Trump warned Pyongyang that underestimating the US and its allies would be a “fatal miscalculation.”
“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,” the president said.
He went on to list the various ways the US was prepared to face any potential conflict with Pyongyang, including the deployment of three aircraft carriers and a nuclear submarine to the Korean peninsula.
“I want peace through strength,” Trump said, adding that the US would defend its and South Korea’s “common security, shared prosperity, and sacred liberty.”
He urged the international community to adopt a unified approach in dealing with the North Korean situation, calling on “all nations, including China and Russia, “to fully implement UNSC resolutions, downgrade diplomatic relations, and severe all ties” with Pyongyang.
Referring to North Korea’s repeated missile tests and threats to strike US territory, the president said that his administration would “not allow American cities to be threatened with destruction.”
He added “We will not let the worst atrocities in history be repeated here, on this ground we fought and died to secure,” referring to the Korean War (1950-1953).
Trump praised South Korea’s development and progress since the brutal Korean War, which ended in 1953, comparing it to the “bleak” situation that North Korean citizens have to face.
“North Korea is a hell that no person deserves,” he said, describing the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) at the border between North and South Korea, as a line “between decency and depravity, between law and tyranny, between hope and total despair.”
He also warned Kim Jong-un that “every step you take down this path (towards nuclearization) increases the peril you face.”
Despite his strong warnings, Trump said that the US and its allies “do not seek confrontation,” adding that his country would “offer a path to a better future for North Korea.”
Trump was addressing the National Assembly in Seoul on the second day of his trip to South Korea.
He is scheduled to fly to Beijing later on Wednesday, the third leg of his tour of Asia.