Trump to North Korea: ‘Gotta Behave’
Monday at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, President Donald Trump warned North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un to “behave.”
When CNN’s Jim Acosta asked the president if he had any message for North Korea and Kim Jong-un, Trump said, “Gotta behave.”
When Acosta asked if the situation in North Korea can be resolved peacefully Trump said, “Probably it can.”
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President Trump slammed former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama for telegraphing plans instead of catching foreign leaders off guard, saying, “I’m not like other administrations.” “Fox & Friends” co-host Ainsley Earhardt spoke with Trump and First Lady Melania at the White House’s Easter Egg Roll on Monday for an interview that will air Tuesday morning on Fox News. Trump took the time to praise the Fox News’ morning show shortly before he accused the media of getting “worse” since Election Day.
Speaking from Freedom House within the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), Vice President Mike Pence delivered strong words to American and Republic of Korea (ROK) military troops, reassuring South Korea of U.S. commitment to denuclearization and warning North Korea that every option is on the table.
“The patience of the United States and our allies in this region has run out, and we want to see change,” Pence warned.
Pence made clear that the U.S. wants to see the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea (DPRK), or North Korea, abandon “its nuclear program and its ballistic missile program” and that the U.S. hopes to see China take actions necessary to achieve this change.
The Vice President recalled more than a quarter-century ago, when the U.S. became aware North Korea’s attempts at developing a nuclear weapon:
We want to see North Korea abandon its reckless path of the development of nuclear weapons. And also its continual use of and testing of ballistic missiles is unacceptable. That clarity we hope will be received in North Korea, and that they will understand that the United States of America, the people of South Korea, our allies across the region are resolved to achieve our objectives through peaceable means or ultimately by whatever means are necessary to protect the interest, the security of the people of South Korea and to bring stability to the region.
He went on to tell the group:
We are heartened by the support of allies across the Asia Pacific, including China, who will continue to advance this objective on the Korean Peninsula. And I’m here to express the resolve of the people of the United States and the President of the United States to achieve that objective through peaceable means, through negotiations, but all options are on the table as we continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the people of South Korea for the denuclearization of this peninsula and for the long-term prosperity and freedom of the people of South Korea.
Pence again recalled his father’s military service in the Korean War. “People across the world should know that the bonds between our people are not simply strategic and military and economic, but they are personal, and they span generations of Americans and South Koreans,” he said.
Asked about what role China could have in denuclearizing North Korea, Pence stated that he and the President are “heartened by some initial steps that China has taken in this regard, but we look for them to do more.”
The Vice President said that he and the President hope to achieve denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula “through peaceable means” with the cooperation of China, South Korea, Japan, and other allies in the region.
“All options are on the table to achieve the objectives and ensure the security of the people of this country and the stability of this region,” said the Vice President, who was clear that the Administration stands by its policy of not talking about military tactical decisions. He also reaffirmed that the U.S. stands with the people of South Korea.
Asked what message he had for the “people on the other side of this line,” Pence responded, “We seek peace, but America has always sought peace through strength. And my message here today standing with U.S. Forces Korea, standing with courageous soldiers from the Republic of Korea, is a message of resolve.”
“The alliance between South Korea and the United States is ironclad. We will fulfill that alliance for the sake of our people and the people of South Korea,” Pence continued. He went on to say, “As the President has made very clear, either China will deal with this problem or the United States and our allies will.”
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Pence Confident ‘We Will See A Korean Peninsula Free of Nuclear Weapons’
(CNSNews.com) – “This is a frontier of freedom,” Vice President Mike Pence said on Monday as he visited the Demilitarized Zone dividing North and South Korea.
He noted that for more than 60 years, U.S. and South Korean forces “have held the line for freedom here at the DMZ. And it gives me great confidence as we go into the future that we will achieve our objective of a secure and prosperous South Korea. But also that we will – that we will see a Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons.”
Earlier, Pence told reporters at the DMZ that “the era of strategic patience is over.” CNN’s Dana Bash asked Pence what that means:
“It was the policy of the United States of America during prior administrations to practice what they called strategic patience,” Pence said. The policy aimed to end North Korea’s nuclear ambitions by applying international pressure.
“That clearly has failed, and the advent of nuclear weapons testing, the development of a nuclear program — even this weekend, to see another attempt at a ballistic missile launch — all confirms the fact that strategic patience has failed,” Pence said.
Pence told CNN that President Donald Trump is “going to abandon the failed policy of strategic patience. But we’re going to redouble our efforts to bring diplomatic and economic pressure to bear on North Korea. Our hope is that we can resolve this issue peaceably, and I know the president was heartened by his discussions with (Chinese) President Xi.
“We’ve seen China begin to take some actions to bring pressure on North Korea, but there needs to be more.”
Pence said the administration’s “hope” and “prayer” is that a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula will result from having China and other nations put renewed pressure on North Korea.
“But the people in North Korea should make no mistake that the United States of America and our allies will see to the security of this region and see to the security of the people of our country.”
McMaster: Administration Working to ‘Develop a Range of Options’ on N. Korea
(CNSNews.com) – North Korea’s latest missile test failed over the weekend, but it’s part of a pattern of “provocative and destabilizing and threatening behavior” that has the Trump administration considering its options, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday:
I think there’s an international consensus now, including the Chinese and the Chinese leadership — that this is a situation that just can’t continue.
And the president has made clear that he will not accept the United States and its allies and partners in the region being under threat from this hostile regime with nuclear weapons. And so we’re working together with our allies and partners, and with the Chinese leadership, to develop a range of options.
And the president has asked the National Security Council to integrate the efforts of the Department of Defense, State, our intelligence agencies, so we can provide options and have them ready for him if this pattern of destabilizing behavior continues, and if the North Korea regime refuses to denuclearize, which is the accepted objective of both the United States and Chinese leadership, as well our allies in the region.
A missile fired by North Korea exploded moments after launch in the regime’s latest test on Sunday. The day before, North Koreans marked the birthday of the country’s founder with a large military parade, featuring a new kind of short-range cruise missile, probably for shoreline defenses, the Associated Press reported. And North Korea also showed off canisters resembling those that could be used for intercontinental ballistic missiles.
But despite those concerns, North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test. What would have happened if they had? ABC’s Martha Raddatz asked McMaster on Sunday.
“Well, the president has made very clear that he is not in the business of announcing in advance exactly what he’s going to do in any particular situation,” McMaster replied.
“And I think what you saw last week with the president’s decisive response to the Assad regime, to mass murder of innocent people, including children, with chemical weapons, that this national security team is capable of rapidly responding to those sorts of crises or incidents and events and providing the president with options.
“And our president is clearly comfortable making tough decisions and respond.”
McMaster said “all” options, including military options, are “on the table, undergoing refinement and further development.”
McMaster said it’s not clear how close North Korea is to having a nuclear weapon capable of reaching the United States. Estimates vary widely, he said.
“What is clear is, as long — as long as their behavior continues, as long as they continue missile development — even though this was a failed missile, they get better and they learn lessons.
“So what’s critical is for them to stop this destabilizing behavior, stop the development of these weapons, and denuclearize. And that is the best interests of everyone in the region, and ultimately it’s in the best interests of the North Korean people as well.”
In the meantime, McMaster said President Trump is “determined” not to allow North Korea’s nuclear capability to threaten the U.S. “And president will take action that is in the best interest of the American people.”