U.S. President Donald Trump has said that the “era of strategic patience” with the North Korean regime is over.
Trump said this when he met with South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in in Washington to discuss the nuclear weapons threat from Pyongyang.
“Frankly, that patience is over,” he said, citing the death of American student Otto Warmbier as an example of the brutality of the North Korean regime.
“The United States will defend itself, always will defend itself” and its allies, Trump said.
Trump welcomed South Korean Jae-in for formal talks at the White House a day after they met over dinner.
The U.S. president is seriously concerned over North Korea’s perceived missile development that could strike the continental U.S., and Trump is looking for a way out.
“We have a very, very strong and solid plan,” the U.S. president said.
On Thursday, the Treasury Department blacklisted a Chinese bank accused of conducting millions in illicit business with North Korea as Washington intensified pressure on Beijing to crackdown on its wayward ally.
The South Korean leader has sought to make clear to the U.S. that he is also serious about dealing with his neighbour’s threat, despite his inclination to restart dialogue with the North.
Moon’s conservative predecessor, who was impeached in a bribery scandal, took a hard line toward North Korea.
In recent interviews, Moon has said sanctions alone cannot solve the problem of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, but the “right conditions” are needed for dialogue.