"I Think We're Making Progress" - Trump Softens Tone On North Korea

President Donald Trump arrived in South Korea Tuesday for his two-day visit bearing a surprisingly diplomatic message: During a press conference with his South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Trump surprised his audience by delivering a message to North Korea that was unexpectedly conciliatory.

When asked about the monthslong diplomatic standoff between the two nuclear powers, Trump said he thinks the two countries are “making progress” toward a diplomatic solution, while urging the North Korean leadership to “come to the table and make a deal."

“I think we’re making progress … I do see certain movement, yes, but let’s see what happens,” Trump said in Seoul, where he is spending two days of his 12-day tour of Asia.

Still, Trump noted that the North remains a threat to global order, and that the US stands ready to attack “if need be."

“North Korea is a worldwide threat that requires worldwide action. We call on every responsible nation incuding China and Russia to demand that the North Korean regime end its nuclear weapons and missile programs and live in peace."

All nations must implement UN Security Council regulations and cease trade with the “increasingly dangerous regime."

“It makes sense for North Korea to come to the table and to make a deal that’s good for the people of North Korea,” he said. Rather than give a specific update on recent developments over the North’s nuclear programme he said he preferred to “play our cards close to the vest."

However, he also stressed the urgency of the situation, saying it’s time to act with “great determination” to finally resolve the simmering conflict.

Turning to the nature of the military relationship between the two countries, Trump praised South Korea’s plans to purchase billions of dollars’ worth of American military hardware. The visiting president said he learned from his aides that the “amount of equipment and things you will be ordering from the United States will substantially increase, and therefore bringing the trade deficit down, which is very important to our people.”

“We have trade deficits with numerous countries and we don't want trade deficits, so we appreciate that very much,” Trump said, according to Yonhap.

Of course, the tone of Trump’s remarks is less surprising when one considers that he and Moon - whom the president has praised as a strong leader and ally - couldn’t be further apart in their opinions about the North. Moon was elected on a platform of increased dialogue and openness with the North, while Trump’s bellicose rhetoric has fostered fears in the international community that he could tip the US into a nuclear conflict with the restive state. One reason for his Asia tour, according to the White House, was for Trump to try and rally the North’s regional neighbors to take a harder line in condemning and economically punishing the so-called hermit kingdom.

"Some people have said my rhetoric is very strong, but look at what's happened over the last 25 years with weak rhetoric," Trump said.

Trump had previously tweeted that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was "Wasting his time" pursuing a dialogue with the North, hinting that "only one thing will work.'

Trump has criticized Moon for his soft stance in the past, once tweeting that Moon was "appeasing" the North Korean regime.

 

As CNN pointed out, Trump didn’t offer any specific signs of progress, noting that his administration likes "to play our cards a little bit close to the vest."

According to the Guardian, many in central Seoul were unhappy at Trump’s arrival. Throngs of protesters lined the streets outside the meeting, some holding signs that said: “No war, yes peace”. Others expressed their opposition to the deployment of the US missile defense system, THAAD. Many residents of the villages where the THAAD systems are based believe the installation could make their homes a target should a conflict erupt.

“We should never trust someone who said a war will be not on US soil,” Kim Jun-sung, a protester, told the Guardian.

Seung Hee-han, a member of the People’s Democratic party, had been on a hunger strike for two days, holding a poster that compared Trump with Adolf Hitler. ]

“South Koreans are accustomed to living with the threat of war, the main difference now is Trump and his tendency to increase tensions with Kim Jong-un,” said Won-thaek Kang, a politics professor at Seoul National University. “I hope he can see what Seoul is like, a vibrant and thriving city, and that he will realise how damaging a war would be for us."

But not everyone was opposed to Trump’s visit. In the days before Trump arrived, nationalist protesters erected a sign on the pavement outside the US embassy in Seoul that read: “Mr Trump, we are not afraid to die. We want you to strike North Korea now!"

“Trump needs to do something about North Korea right now,” said Kim Min-su, a preacher at the All World Church who was waving a US flag in one hand and a South Korean flag in the other. “People in North Korea are praising Jesus in underground churches, and South Korea is doing nothing about it, so it is up to Trump to free them."

Notably, Trump has also been fiercely critical of KORUS, the free-trade agreement between the US and South Korea, suggesting earlier this year he might terminate it, and Trump said Tuesday the two had discussed making changes to the agreement - though he tempered his rhetoric on the issue during the joint appearance. Nearly 30,000 US troops are stationed in South Korea.

Trump has said he will not visit the DMZ - the armed border between the two Koreas that has already been visited by two members of his administration - Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Vice President Mike Pence. Later this week, Trump will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin during an APEC conference in Vietnam. It would be their first meeting since June, when they sat down on the sidelines of a G-20 summit. The US Navy is conducting joint military exercises with its South Korean partners as a show of strength meant to underscore the US's commitment to providing security in the region.

So far, Trump's softened rhetoric toward North Korea and trade have earned plaudits from the South Korean foreign policy set...

 

 

Comments

Shemp 4 Victory IH8OBAMA Tue, 11/07/2017 - 14:54 Permalink

 

Are you kidding me?!  I was counting on kicking some Fatso KimUn butt.  Now we may go through the, sign an agreement, give NK billions in stuff then watch them break the agreement and build more nukes.

You left out the part where the US breaks the agreement first by not living up to its side of the bargain.

I've seen this movie, staring Bill Clinton

...and his successor, Chimpy W. Bush, the usual gang of idiots in congress, and mental case John Bolton and his fellow neocons in the psych ward.

In reply to by IH8OBAMA

medium giraffe Cash2Riches Tue, 11/07/2017 - 09:37 Permalink

Why do they HAVE to be dealt with?  You didn't actually believe all of that crap about them threatening a country that has 7000+ nuclear warheads and is halfway around the world with their hypothetical mildly-radioactive firework rocket, didja?  Let China sort them out, they're no threat at all.  The US Airforce probably has 15 bombs per North Korean, they'd last about 3 minutes, tops.  Fuck sake, get a grip you pansy.  It's all BS.

In reply to by Cash2Riches

caconhma medium giraffe Tue, 11/07/2017 - 12:40 Permalink

medium giraffe, you are a fucking imbecile.Kim does not need to wipe out ALL US major military and industrial centers. Just wiping out San Francesco and the Bay area together with Seattle and LA resulting in 3-5 millions American dead will end the USA as we know it. To do so, he needs just 5-7 1Mt-nukes. These nuclear devices can be delivered either by ICBM or mid-range missiles or cruise missiles launched from WW2-vintage diesel submarines or commercial ships refitted for these purposes.Tokio and Seul will also be devastated. Russia and China will be great winners.Today, America and Russia have less than 2,500 devices apiece with less than 1,500 on active duty.Finally, I don't think that China will tolerate a nuclear war on its border.PSRemember the Cuban crisis? The USA had ~3,000 and Soviets just 300. At the end, the USA removed its missiles from Italy and Turkey and gave a pledge NEVER to invade Cuba in exchange for Soviets removing their nukes from Cuba.

In reply to by medium giraffe

Son of Captain Nemo Son of Captain Nemo Tue, 11/07/2017 - 09:51 Permalink

And as President "knee-pads" says the channels of communication are "positive"... We get the usual suspects pulling this (https://southfront.org/us-south-korea-prepared-use-full-range-military-…)

Guess it depends on which side of the hopelessly bankrupted and rabid part of Uncle Sammy's lesioned brain your watching at any given moment of the day!

In reply to by Son of Captain Nemo

veritas semper… Cash2Riches Tue, 11/07/2017 - 14:23 Permalink

Ignorance is bliss. NK did get rid of their nuclear reactors,there are videos and confirmation from international organisations.It was in 2006 or 2005. The deal was this for food and energy,as in drop the sanctions and isolation of the country. The US,kept its tradition of NOT HONORING any deal it makes and ,of course,did not do its part. Instead ,it increased its South Korean military presence,and recently put THAAD in SK. So,after being duped by the dishonorable US,NK decided to keep arming and defending themselves.US is a rogue nation,with no honor,does not keep its word and respects no treaty signed.See the treaties with the Russians(like nuclear proliferation from which it withdrew,and multiple other ones,like the treaty to destroy and decontaminate nuclear waste,the occupation of Russian consulate,the sanctions against Russia for no reason,etc).And now the Iranian nuclear deal.Only flag waving, ignorant,army supporting US population(majority) does not know all these.In fact,it does not know anything ,but swollows the huge amount of BS coming from State Department and MSMQuod erat demonstrandum.

In reply to by Cash2Riches

historian40 Tue, 11/07/2017 - 09:08 Permalink

You can't trust anything the zionist-ran US says.  As long as Trump continues to surround himself with the antichrists and do their bidding, he can't be trusted either.  Just remember they had two fronts in the previous world wars, just like they appear to be setting it up for the third.

Agent44 Tue, 11/07/2017 - 09:16 Permalink

i say we pop fat kim like an over-ripe pimple.  Sorry, too much testosterone & coffee in the morning. I will mellow out by 11:42 am est at which point I will recommend a lesser solution, even tho a lesser solution will probably not work.

shankster Tue, 11/07/2017 - 09:22 Permalink

Pentagon doesn't want wars on two different fronts right now..so the emphasis has switched back to the conflicts in the Middle East (more $$ for MIC) and they will let Rocket Boy slide for a little while longer.

Quinvarius Tue, 11/07/2017 - 09:27 Permalink

Kim will do something to mess this opportunity up.  Even suggesting that NK make a deal is an insult to Kim's status and smacks of backing down on his previous threats.  The need to launch a missile is higher than ever.

anonymike Tue, 11/07/2017 - 09:34 Permalink

Global financial elite may instead have Saudi war to blame for finale of ongoing global financial collapse. Much less messy and complicated than Korean War II, losing/contaminating far fewer non-human resources that the global financial elite own or covet. The human catastrophe resulting from the economic meltdown will take care of the population "problem", especially in the most troublesome places for the NWO.

BigWillyStyle887 Tue, 11/07/2017 - 09:46 Permalink

BUT WHAT ABOUT MUH FIRE AND FURY THE WORLD HAS NEVER SEEN DON!?!?!?!? Also, that gook bitch at the bottom talking about the president behiving is priceless. Why do women always think they can be condescending and get away with it?

Herdee Tue, 11/07/2017 - 09:46 Permalink

China has already said that they wouldn't allow any more war on the Korean Peninsula. The Americans need to negotiate, not bomb. Bombing such as what has been done to the MiddleEast destroys American credibility.

Riquin Tue, 11/07/2017 - 09:53 Permalink

Donald knows how to negotiate !! NK will negotiate now !! The problem with politicians  is that they do not understand negotiation tactics 

MuffDiver69 Tue, 11/07/2017 - 09:58 Permalink

Blah blah and quoting CNN and the guardian. Rather sad article, but considering it was thrown together using the front page of Drudge while sitting on the toilet this morning...Bravo..