SEOUL, South Korea — President Donald Trump issued a stark warning to North Korea during his address Wednesday to South Korea’s National Assembly, warning that provocative action would amount to a “fatal miscalculation” under his administration.
He cast himself as more willing than previous U.S. presidents to use military force against Pyongyang should they continue threatening the United States and its allies.
“This a very different administration than the United States has had in the past,” Trump said. “Do not underestimate us. And do not try us.”
Trump delivered a stern and personal message to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, warning that continued nuclear provocations would result in his regime’s destruction.
“The weapons you are acquiring are not making you safer, they are putting your regime in grave danger,” Trump said in what he called a “direct” message to Kim.
“Every step you take down this dark path increases the peril you face,” Trump said. “North Korea is not the paradise your grandfather envisioned. It is a hell that no person deserves.”
Trump called for a “complete and verifiable denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula.
“All responsible nations must join forces to isolate the brutal regime of North Korea to deny it any form of support, supply, or acceptance,” he said.
Trump also drew a stark contrast Wednesday between South Korea and North Korea, saying South Korea’s economic growth is proof that the North Korean experiment has failed.
“When the Korean War began in 1950, the two Koreas were approximately equal in GDP per capita, but by the 1990s South Korea’s wealth had surpassed North Korea by more than 10 times. And today the South’s economy is over 40 times larger,” Trump said. “You’re doing something right.
“North Korea is a country ruled by a cult. At the center of this military cult is a deranged belief in the ruler’s destiny to rule as a parent protector over a conquered Korean Peninsula.
“The more successful South Korea becomes the more successfully you discredit the dark fantasy at the heart of the south Korean regime.”
Trump also contrasted the atrocious human rights conditions in North Korea with the freedoms South Korean citizens enjoy.