Posted November. 09, 2017 07:48,
Updated November. 09, 2017 08:37
U.S. President Donald Trump issued a warning to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in his address to South Korea’s National Assembly on Wednesday by saying, “Do not underestimate us. Do not try us. I speak not only for our countries (the United States and South Korea) but for all civilized nations. Kim Jong Un’s regime has interpreted America’s past restraint as weakness. This would be a fatal miscalculation.” But, he offered North Korea “a path to a much better future,” urging the regime to stop developing nuclear weapons and calling for the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization.
Trump’s 35-minute speech to the South Korean lawmakers was an accusation against North Korea’s dictator. Unlike the expectation that Trump will strongly raise trade issues including ROK-U.S. free trade agreement, he focused on delivering a warning message to North Korea. Trump praised the incredible achievement of one Korea, or South Korea, on the Korean Peninsula. In stark contrast, he shed light on the horrible reality of other Korea, where its people are detained, tortured and even executed, denouncing the cruel dictatorship. He said we watched the results of a tragic experiment in a laboratory of history, calling the North Korean regime “the prison state,” “a country ruled as a cult” and “a hell that no person deserves.” His address has made this reporter wonder if there has been such a severe criticism of North Korea in the South Korean parliament in recent years.
“I have come here to deliver a message directly to the leader of the North Korean dictatorship. The weapons you are acquiring are not making you safer, they are putting your regime in grave danger,” Trump said, reminding that many regimes that foolishly tested America’s resolve have disappeared. “Now is the time for strength. If you want peace, you must stand strong at all times,” he said to the world, calling for concerted efforts to isolate the brutal regime. He called on nations, particularly China and Russia, to fully implement U.N. Security Council resolutions, downgrade diplomatic relations with the regime and stop all ties of trade.
Trump’s speech before South Korea’s legislature was more restrained than expected. There was no bellicose rhetoric such as “fire and fury” and “military options locked and loaded,” phrases used on his Twitter account. It was quite different from his UN speech declaring to “totally destroy North Korea.” The refined message has proven to be much more powerful to feel a steadfast and strong resolve. The U.S. president tried to show such a resolve through a visit to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between South Korean and North Korea but turned back due to poor weather. Although his surprise trip to the DMZ was thwarted, the fact that the two leaders tried to visit together for the first time in history indicates a strong commitment to responding North Korea. Later in a speech, Trump said of the DMZ: “It is the line between peace and war, between decency and depravity, between law and tyranny, between hope and total despair.” He reiterated the will of the alliance to protect freedom. North Korea should clearly understand how things are going by now. The choice is up to Kim Jong Un.