- North Korea responded to President Donald Trump’s speech in South Korea where he warned Kim Jong Un not to underestimate the US’s resolve.
- North Korea doubled down on its promise to build nuclear weapons, despite international calls for them to stop.
- The US maintains it will not let North Korea become a nuclear weapons state.
Pyongyang has responded in its usual fiery fashion to Donald Trump’s speech to South Korea’s National Assembly, in which the US president warned North Korea not to test the US’s resolve.
Trump’s speech focused largely on the long history of North Korea’s human rights abuses and departed from his past rhetoric by offering Kim Jong Un and his people “a path to much better future” if it abandons its nuclear ambitions.
But returning to typical form, Trump also brought up the US’s defeat of ISIS and its nuclear submarines in the region. Trump warned that North Korea misinterpreting the US’s restraint for weakness would be a “fatal miscalculation,” and called on the international community to implement the UN’s strict sanctions on Pyongyang.
North Korean officials, who spoke to CNN about the speech, were not thrilled. “We don’t care about what that mad dog may utter because we’ve already heard enough,” they said.
The officials reaffirmed North Korea’s commitment to building nuclear weapons, bringing up the US’s “nuclear aircraft carriers and strategic bombers” before promising to “counter those threats by bolstering the power of justice in order to take out the root cause of aggression and war.”
North Korean officials have repeatedly stated that they will not look to negotiate with the US until they complete their country’s nuclear program. Meanwhile, the US has made it clear it would take any action necessary to prevent North Korea fully nuclearizing.
On Wednesday, Trump arrived in China to talk to the most powerful Chinese leader since Chairman Mao about North Korea, among other things. China, North Korea’s main ally and trading partner, has been unusually helpful in the US’s push to sanction and crack down on Pyongyang.
Trump expressed optimism in South Korea about the US’s ability to bring North Korea to heel, and previously said he expects China to pitch in considerably.
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