Trump warns N. Korea not to ‘ try us’ with its nukes
President makes appeal to ‘ responsible nations’
BEIJING – In the morning, President Trump urged world leaders to rally against North Korea and its nuclear weapons.
By the afternoon Wednesday, Trump already was off to Beijing to meet the key figure in that effort: China’s Xi Jinping.
Persuading China to cut off economic support for North Korea is essential to Trump’s hopes of pressuring Kim Jong Un’s government into giving up nuclear weapons, a plan he outlined in his high- profile speech to the South Korea National Assembly in Seoul.
Arguing that the world cannot tolerate a “rogue regime” that threatens “nuclear devastation,” Trump encouraged all countries to ratchet up economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea and demand that Kim’s government give up nuclear weapons.
“All responsible nations must join forces to isolate the brutal regime of North Korea” and deny it economic support or diplomatic acceptance, Trump told the South Korean National Assembly in a formal address that included repeated warnings to Kim’s government.
“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,” Trump told legislators. “We will not allow American cities to be threat- ened with destruction. We will not be intimidated.”
His call is aimed mainly at China, North Korea’s major economic patron.
Yet Trump and Xi’s plans included a tour of the Forbidden City, an opera, and a lavish state dinner.
The real talks come Thursday in Beijing. After a formal welcome ceremony, Trump and Xi host a series of bilateral meetings before addressing the media.
North Korea has been a central focus of Trump’s Asia tour, though Chinese officials have said their influence with Kim is limited.
In the Seoul speech, Trump made several self- references – including the fact that the speech fell on the one- year anniversary of his election. In praising South Korea’s contributions to the world, Trump mentioned its many world- class golfers, and stressed that some of them played at this year’s U. S. Women’s Open held at the president’s club in Bedminster, N. J.
Trump spoke just a few hours after he tried to visit the Demilitarized Zone between South and North Korea, only to be foiled by fog that kept his helicopter grounded.
In condemning Kim, Trump heralded the U. S.- South Korea alliance.
Linking the Korean War to today’s nuclear challenges, Trump said, “We will not let the worst atrocities in history be repeated here, on this ground we fought and died so hard to secure.”
President Trump burns incense during his visit Wednesday to the National Cemetery in Seoul.