President Donald Trump declared that the U.S. has run out of patience with North Korea over its nuclear drive Friday as he welcomed South Korea’s new leader Moon Jae-in to talks at the White House, Newsmax reports.
While Moon has been arguing for greater engagement with Pyongyang as the best way to put the brakes on its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, Trump made clear that he was in no mood to pursue diplomacy with a regime he accused of having no respect for human life.
Although Moon announced that Trump had accepted an offer to visit Seoul later this year,the leaders failed to map out any kind of joint strategy on how best to deal with the threat posed by the North Korean leadership.
“Together, we are facing the threat of the reckless and brutal regime in North Korea. The nuclear and ballistic missile programs of that regime require a determined response”, Trump said.
“The North Korean dictatorship has no regard for the safety and security of its people, for its neighbors and has no respect for human life”, he added.
The Trump administration has been growing increasingly exasperated with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un’s regime which has staged a barrage of missile tests in recent months.
There was also deep anger in the United States after Otto Warmbier, an American student who was detained in North Korea on a tourist trip around 18 months ago, was returned home in a coma earlier this month. He died several days later.
“The era of strategic patience with the North Korean regime has failed, many years it has failed. Frankly, that patience is over,” Trump said at a press briefing in the Rose Garden.
“The United States calls on other regional powers and all responsible nations to join us in implementing sanctions and demanding that the North Korean regime choose a better path and do it quickly and a different future for its long suffering people,” he said.
Washington, South Korea’s security guarantor, has more than 28,000 troops in the country to defend it from its communist neighbor, which has been intensifying missile tests, including five since Moon’s inauguration.
Moon said there was no dispute between his government and Trump over the nature of the threat posed by North Korea.
“The gravest challenge confronting our two nations is the nuclear and missile threat posed by North Korea. President Trump and I decided to place a top priority on addressing this issue, and coordinate closely on relevant policies”, Moon stated.
“To this end, we will employ both sanctions and dialogue in a phased and comprehensive approach … to seek a fundamental resolution of the North Korean nuclear problem”, he added.
Prior to his arrival, Moon argued that Seoul and Washington must offer concessions to Pyongyang if it complies with demands for a nuclear freeze, as a gateway to dialogue, and to eventual dismantlement of its nuclear program.
A senior U.S. administration official stressed ahead of the talks that Washington and Seoul “share precisely the same goal, which is the complete dismantlement of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs”.