U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday the ‘era of strategic patience with the North Korean regime has failed.’ Trump made the comments during a Rose Garden statement alongside South Korean President Moon Jae-in. (June 30)
President Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday called for a combination of pressure and dialogue to counter North Korea’s growing nuclear threat.
“The era of strategic patience with the North Korean regime has failed,” Trump said. “And, frankly, that patience is over.”
Trump called on countries around the world and regional powers to join the U.S., South Korea and Japan in implementing sanctions on North Korea.
The U.S. demands “the North Korean regime choose a better path — and do it quickly — and a different future for its long suffering people,” Trump said. “Our goal is peace, stability and prosperity for the region. But the United States will defend itself, always defend itself, always, and we will defend our allies.”
Moon, who was elected in May on a pledge to open talks with North Korea, said he and Trump agreed that “only strong security can provide peace.” “We concurred to strengthen our overwhelming deterrence, that threats and provocations from the North will be met with a stern response,” Moon said.
The two presidents also agreed to place a priority on the nuclear and missile threats posed by North Korea as “the greatest challenge confronting our two nations,” Moon said.
He called on North Korea to return to the negotiating table to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
Moon also said he invited Trump to visit South Korea.
“To this end our two leaders will employ both sanctions and dialogue in a phased and comprehensive approach and based on this we both pledged to seek a fundamental resolution of the North Korean nuclear problem,” he said.
Trump also spoke about a trade deal he said he is renegotiating with South Korea. He pledged to “remove barriers to reciprocal trade,” and gain better access to the South Korean auto market for U.S. manufactures.
“I’m confident that will happen,” he said.
The two men spoke to reporters in the White House Rose Garden and took no questions.
Trump in the past has called for “maximum pressure” through economic sanctions and the threat of military action to halt North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s nuclear and missile development programs. Trump has simultaneously sought China’s assistance in rolling back the North’s illicit weapons programs and threatened to apply pressure on China, the North’s greatest ally.
Moon, whose country does more trade with China than with the U.S., also is wary of a U.S. missile defense system that the Pentagon rushed to begin deploying in South Korea ahead of his landslide election. The U.S. military says the system is critical to protect South Korea, as well as 28,000 U.S. forces stationed less than 40 miles from North Korea’s heavily militarized border.
Their meeting came a day after the White House announced new sanctions against a Chinese bank, a shipping company, and two Chinese individuals it said were helping the Pyongyang government obtain funds for Kim’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
The State Department Thursday also informed Congress it plans to sell Taiwan $1.42 billion worth of weapons that would help the autonomous island deter a Chinese attack.
Chinese Ambassador to Washington Cui Tiankai said his country rejects the U.S. sanctions and the arms sale to Taiwan. The arms deal is pending approval by Congress.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the arms sale would show “our support for Taiwan’s ability to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability,” but does not signal any change on the “One China” policy.
The U.S. recognition of a “One China” policy stems from 1979, when the U.S. switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to the People’s Republic of China. In the 1979 U.S.-PRC Joint Communique, the United States recognized the communist leadership in Beijing as the sole legal government of China, acknowledging the Chinese position that there is one China and Taiwan is a breakaway province that is part of China.
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