TOKYO – US President Donald Trump said in Tokyo on Monday that his country’s strategic patience with North Korea over its nuclear weapons program has ended.
Pyongyang’s “continued development of its unlawful programs, including its illegal nuclear tests and outrageous launches of ballistic missiles directly over Japanese territory, are a threat to the civilized world and international peace and stability. We will not stand for that,” Trump said in a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
“I think that these are great people. They are under a very repressive regime and I really think that, ultimately, I can tell you this I hope it all works out. It would be better for everybody. Certainly, it would be better for North Korea but it would be better for everybody,” he added.
Abe said Japan was in “complete agreement” with the US, in that “all options” should remain on the table and that “a maximum level of pressure” should be applied on North Korea.
“For more than 20-odd years, the international community attempted dialogue with North Korea. Now is the time not for dialogue,” said Abe, who again called on China to use its influence over North Korea to abandon its nuclear and missiles program.
Trump’s tour of Asia falls at a time of relative quiet in the region, after months of increasing tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons ambitions.
After a series of tests this year, Pyongyang has not carried out a missile launch since Sept. 15.
Trump arrived on Sunday in Japan, the first stop of his tour, during which he will also travel to South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.