WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said on Monday that US policy toward North Korea has been a failure for a quarter of a century, allowing Pyongyang to develop atomic weapons.
“Our country has been unsuccessfully dealing with North Korea for 25 years, giving billions of dollars & getting nothing. Policy didn’t work!” Trump said in a Twitter post.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said on Sunday that his country’s nuclear weapons program provided the best option for defending sovereignty and countering threats from the United States.
Trump did not say whether he was preparing to take military action against North Korea, a possibility he has raised several times.
Since taking office, Trump has taken a hardline position against Pyongyang, while North Korea has continued to stage missile tests, firing intercontinental ballistic missiles that can reach US territories.
Sen. Bob Corker, a Republican from Tennessee who serves as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told The New York Times in an interview published over the weekend that Trump’s reckless behavior was putting the US “on the path to World War III.”
Corker recently announced that he would not seek re-election in the 2018 midterm elections.
Over the weekend, Trump lashed out at Corker after the lawmaker criticized him publicly.
“Senator Bob Corker ‘begged’ me to endorse him for re-election in Tennessee. I said ‘NO’ and he dropped out (said he could not win without ... my endorsement),” Trump said in a series of Twitter posts.
“He also wanted to be Secretary of State, I said ‘NO THANKS.’ He is also largely responsible for the horrendous Iran Deal!” Trump tweeted.
In August, Corker criticized Trump’s response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a 32-year-old woman died when a neo-Nazi drove his vehicle into a crowd of anti-racist protesters.
Corker hit back at Trump on Sunday, questioning the direction of the White House.
“It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning,” Corker tweeted.
The senator said last week that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary James Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly were the “people that help separate our country from chaos.”