SEOUL - US President Donald Trump has urged North Korea to "come to the table and make a deal" over a spiralling nuclear weapons and missile crisis, even as he stressed that the US is prepared to assert its military might "if needed" to defend itself and its allies.
Speaking at a joint press conference on Tuesday (Nov 7) after a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae In, Mr Trump also called on the world to unite in confronting the nuclear threat and "prevent the North Korean dictator (Mr Kim Jong Un) from threatening millions of innocent lives".
"We are showing great strength and I think they understand we have unparalleled strength. With that said, I really believe it makes sense for North Korea to come to the table and make a deal that is good for the people of North Korea and people of the world," he said.
While declining to comment on the possibility of holding direct talks, Mr Trump said the US will focus on resolving the problem "using all available tools short of military action".
Washington's approach so far has yielded some progress, he added, with China being "very, very helpful" in trying to address the nuclear problem.
But "worldwide action" is necessary to implement United Nations Security Council resolutions and end trade and business with North Korea, said Mr Trump. "It is unacceptable that nations would help arm and finance an increasingly dangerous regime."
The US President arrived in Seoul from Tokyo before noon on Tuesday as part of his 12-day Asia tour, on which the agenda is largely dominated by the North Korea nuclear crisis. The regime had raised tensions by lobbing missiles over Japan, conducting its sixth nuclear test, and hurling threats and insults at the US.
Mr Trump's first stop was the new US base Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, a port city 60km south of Seoul, where Mr Moon gave him a surprise welcome.
They met again at the presidential Blue House, where Mr Trump received an official welcome and inspected an honour guard as part of his state visit. He is slated to give a speech at the National Assembly on Wednesday.
During their summit, the two leaders agreed to work towards boosting South Korea's defence against Pyongyang's continued provocations.