President Donald Trump is in South Korea today – a visit intended to send a strong message of unity to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
The president says he sees “certain movement” with North Korea and urged the regime to come to the table and “make a deal” during a joint press conference with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
He also renewed his promise that the U.S. will use military force if necessary, but struck a more conciliatory tone and refrained from using his nickname for the leader of North Korea, “Rocket Man.”
“You know we sent three of the largest aircraft carriers in the world, and they’re right now positioned. We have a nuclear submarine also positioned. We have many things happening that we hope, we hope… to God we never have to use,” Trump told reporters in Seoul.
The two presidents reaffirmed their joint strategy of maximizing pressure and sanctions on the north.
Trump says it’s time for the international community to act with urgency. “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,” he said.
“I truly sincerely hope that President Trump’s visit at this time will be a turning point for the situation on the Korean Peninsula in a stable manner,” President Moon said.
North Korea has fired more than a dozen missiles this year, but hasn’t fired any in nearly two months.
President Trump is not expected to visit the demilitarized zone that separates the north from the south. Every recent U.S. president except Ronald Reagan has journeyed to the DMZ.