Trump says he may be Kim Jong-un’s best friend, but he’ll use America’s military might against North Korea if he has to
Trump believes he has saved the world from a major war by reaching out and befriending North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, but added he may yet unleash all the military power of the Pentagon against him.
The statements, blending together a call for peace and threats of war, came from the US leader on Tuesday after officials in Pyongyang complained that the nuclear negotiations between the two nations were going nowhere. Trump praised his handling of North Korea, claiming that “if you would have listened to President Obama, we would have been in a World War III right now.”
The US president took credit for defusing the conflict with North Korea by fostering a good personal relationship with Kim. He said he is probably “the only one he has such a good relationship with in the world.”
Tensions in the Korean Peninsula reached a high point last year after Pyongyang successfully tested a ballistic missile with a range long enough to reach the US West Coast. Trump at the time threatened to obliterate North Korea, but later changed track and negotiated an agreement with Kim that broadly outlined a desire to denuclearize the region in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.
Moving from that agreement toward concrete steps has proved to be difficult, however. The latest round of talks in October failed to result in any meaningful progress. Pyongyang’s irritation with the situation was voiced by Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Ri Thae Song on Tuesday, who said it was up to Washington to decide what kind of gift it would get come Christmas.
Trump said he was in no rush to declare the negotiations process dead, but warned he had the world’s most powerful military at his disposal.
“We are by far the most powerful country in the world, and hopefully we won’t have to use it. But if we do, we’ll use it. If we have to, we’ll do it,” he said.
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