'Only one thing will work' with North Korea: Trump

US President Donald Trump says 'only one thing will work' in dealing with North Korea after previous administrations had talked to Pyongyang without results.
US president Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
US president Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON • United States President Donald Trump said "only one thing will work" in dealing with North Korea after previous administrations had talked to Pyongyang without results.

"Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts of money paid... hasn't worked, agreements violated before the ink was dry, making fools of US negotiators. Sorry, but only one thing will work!" said Mr Trump on Twitter.

He did not make clear what he was referring to, but his comments seemed to further suggest that military action was on his mind.

North Korean officials have previously called some of Mr Trump's comments and tweets declarations of war.

US analysts have said North Korea's nuclear programme has accelerated quickly and the country is now making missile-ready nuclear weapons.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his nuclear weapons were a "powerful deterrent" that guaranteed its sovereignty, state media reported yesterday.

In a speech to a meeting of the powerful Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party last Saturday, Mr Kim said North Korea's nuclear weapons are a "powerful deterrent firmly safeguarding the peace and security in the Korean peninsula and North-east Asia", referring to the "protracted nuclear threats of the US imperialists", the report said.

ONLY ONE SOLUTION

Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts of money paid... hasn't worked, agreements violated before the ink was dry, making fools of US negotiators. Sorry, but only one thing will work!

US PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, in a pair of tweets.

In recent weeks, North Korea has launched two missiles over Japan and conducted its sixth nuclear test, and may be fast advancing towards its goal of developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the US mainland.

Mr Trump has previously said the US would "totally destroy" North Korea if necessary to protect itself and its allies from Pyongyang's nuclear threats.

Last week, during a meeting with top US military leaders and their spouses, Mr Trump told reporters it was the "calm before the storm". Asked for clarification then on what he meant, he said: "You'll find out."

White House spokesman Sarah Sanders referred to Iran and North Korea the following day when asked about Mr Trump's "calm before the storm" comment.

Asked last Saturday about the President's tweets, Ms Sanders said she had nothing to add to his comments.

The Pentagon referred a question for clarification to the White House and said the Defence Department's job was to "present the President military options and carry out orders".

A Russian lawmaker was quoted last Friday as saying North Korea was preparing to test a long-range missile that it believes can reach the west coast of the US.

Mr Anton Morozov, a member of the Russian Lower House of Parliament's international affairs committee, was part of a Russian delegation that visited Pyongyang from last Monday to Friday, according to the Russian RIA news agency.

North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile programmes have driven up tensions in the region and around the world in recent months, particularly after it conducted a test explosion of what it said was a hydrogen bomb.

REUTERS, WASHINGTON POST

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 09, 2017, with the headline ''Only one thing will work' with North Korea: Trump'. Print Edition | Subscribe