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Trump warns North Korea, then invites Kim to negotiating table

John T. Bennett, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in Political News

After declaring to North Korea that he would use the "full range of our unmatched military capabilities" to defend the United States, President Donald Trump on Tuesday urged the Kim government to come to the negotiating table and end the tense standoff over its nuclear arms program.

Speaking just 120 miles from the North Korean capital, Trump used a joint news conference in Seoul with his South Korean counterpart to label North Korea's nuclear and missile programs a "worldwide threat that requires worldwide action."

"We cannot allow North Korea to threaten all that we have built," he said of the U.S.-South Korean alliance. "It's time to act with urgency and with great determination."

Trump flashed his usual bravado when talking about the North, reminding Kim Jong-un that the United States possesses what Trump described as unrivaled military power.

"I think we're showing great strength. I think they understand we have unparalleled strength," Trump said of the Kim government. "There has never been strength like it."

The U.S. commander in chief went out of his way while answering a reporter's question to point out publicly that he deployed three "of the largest aircraft carriers in the world" to the region to combat the North's recent nuclear and missile test launches. He also noted that "we have a nuclear submarine also positioned."

"The United States stands prepared to defend itself and its allies using the full range of our unmatched military capabilities, if need be," Trump said.

But Trump also used his first extended remarks as president while standing on Korean soil to call North Korean officials to the negotiating table, saying this of the military might he mentioned: "We hope to God we never have to use."

The U.S. president, in the midst of a 12-day swing through five Asian countries, called on Pyongyang to enter into multi-country talks about its nuclear arms and long-range missile programs.

"I really believe that it makes sense for North Korea to come to the table and to make a deal that's good for the people of North Korea and the people of the world," Trump said during the news conference with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. "I do see certain movement, yes."

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