WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2017 —
North Korea constitutes a worldwide threat that requires worldwide action, President Donald J. Trump said today in a press conference with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the Blue House in Seoul.
“We call on every responsible nation, including China and Russia, to demand that the North Korean regime end its nuclear weapons and its missile programs and live in peace,” the president said in one of two joint press conferences during his trip to Asia. “As the South Korean people know so well, it's time to act with urgency and with great determination.”
Trump called for all nations to put into effect U.N. Security Council regulations and to cease trade and business entirely with North Korea.
“It is unacceptable that nations would help to arm and finance this increasingly dangerous regime,” he emphasized.
South Korea has been a long-standing U.S. ally, and North Korea’s threats cannot be allowed to threaten that partnership, Trump said. “Our alliance is more important than ever to peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and across the Indo-Pacific region,” he added.
Mutual Defense Treaty
“In the more than six decades since we signed our mutual defense treaty, our alliance has grown stronger and deeper. Our two nations symbolize what independent countries can accomplish when they serve the interests of their people, respect the sovereignty of their neighbors and uphold the rule of law,” Trump said of the U.S.-South Korea alliance.
“Together, our two nations will handle threats to peace and security, stand up to those who would threaten our freedom and boldly seize the incredible opportunities for a better, brighter and more prosperous tomorrow,” he said.
In good times and bad, in moments of great hardship and great success, both nations can always count on the close bonds and deep friendship they share as free, proud and independent people, the president said of the alliance.
“Imagine the amazing possibilities for a Korean Peninsula liberated from the threat of nuclear weapons, where all Koreans could enjoy the blessings of liberty and the prosperity that you have achieved right here in South Korea,” Trump said.
Call for Denuclearization Talks
Moon said the United States and his country strongly urge North Korea to halt its nuclear and missile provocation, and to come to a dialogue table for denuclearization as soon as possible.
“President Trump and I reaffirmed our current strategy, which is to maximize pressure and sanctions on North Korea until it gives up nuclear weapons and to come to the table for dialogue on its own,” the South Korean president said.
“At the same time, should North Korea choose to make the right choice, we also reaffirmed our view that we are willing to offer North Korea a bright future,” Moon said.
Camp Humphreys Visit
Earlier in the day, the two presidents visited Camp Humphreys at Pyeongtaek to visit U.S. and South Korean service members.
Trump said South Korea’s military is strong, and the U.S. military will soon be at its strongest level.
“We're committed to spending $700 billion, and that number may even go up. For our military, we're ordering new jet fighters [and] new equipment of virtually every kind,” the president said to Moon. “We make the finest equipment in the world, and you're buying a lot of it, and we appreciate that.”
(Follow Terri Moon Cronk on Twitter: @MoonCronkDoD)