President Donald Trump eased off his aggressive rhetoric against North Korea during his first visit to South Korea, indicating he would be open to negotiating with Pyongyang in order to convince the regime of Kim Jong-un to abandon his nuclear weapons program.
Trump urged Pyongyang to “come to the table” and “make a deal,” noting that “ultimately, it’ll all work out,” though it wasn’t clear what he meant by that.
The president did repeat earlier pledges to use military force should it come to that in order to destroy North Korea’s nuclear program, but he added: “It makes sense for North Korea to come to the table and make a deal that is good for the people of North Korea and for the world. I do see certain movement.”
As for the military option, Trump underscored the fact that three aircraft carrier groups and a nuclear submarine had been deployed to the region. However, he said “we hope to God we never have to use” the arsenal.
Analyst comment: Trump is going out of his way to give Pyongyang every opportunity to voluntarily abandon its nuclear and missile programs, but nothing he has said indicates he has fully abandoned the military option.
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