Trump on N. Korea: My attitude is the one that matters

October 12, 2017

WASHINGTON, Oct. 11 (Yonhap) — U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday that his attitude is “the one that matters” when it comes to resolving the impasse over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

Trump made the remark in response to a question about whether he and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are on the same page on how to deal with the communist regime.

“I think I have a little bit different attitude on North Korea than other people might have,” he told reporters at the start of talks with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the White House. “And I listen to everybody, but ultimately my attitude is the one that matters, isn’t it? That’s the way it works. That’s the way the system is.”

This AFP file photo shows U.S. President Donald Trump. (Yonhap)This AFP file photo shows U.S. President Donald Trump. (Yonhap)

Trump has been tough on North Korea as the regime has fired a series of ballistic missiles and conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test in recent months.

He has threatened to “totally destroy” the nation if necessary and called Tillerson’s efforts to reach out to the regime a waste of time.

“I think perhaps I feel stronger and tougher on that subject than other people, but I listen to everybody,” the president said. “And ultimately, I will do what’s right for the United States and, really, what’s right for the world. Because that’s really a world problem; that’s beyond just the United States. That’s a world problem, and it’s a problem that has to be solved.”

On Tuesday, Trump met with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joe Dunford to discuss a “range of options to respond to any form of North Korean aggression,” according to the White House.

The same day, the U.S. flew two B-1B Lancer bombers near the Korean Peninsula in a show of force.

North Korea is widely expected to conduct another provocation this month, possibly around the Oct. 18 opening of the 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.

A Russian lawmaker who recently visited Pyongyang told media that North Korea is preparing to test a ballistic missile that can strike the U.S. west coast.

“It is the steadfast will of all the service personnel and people of the DPRK to shower fire on the U.S. which cried out for totally destroying the DPRK and settle accounts with the showdown with the U.S. that has lasted century after century by dint of unprecedented strategic force,” North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho told a delegation from Russia’s TASS news agency Wednesday, according to an English dispatch from the North’s Korean Central News Agency.

DPRK is the acronym of North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Ri also said the North’s nuclear program is a “precious fruition of the Korean people’s bloody struggle for defending the destiny and sovereignty of the country from the protracted nuclear threat of the U.S. imperialists and a treasured sword of justice.”

hague@yna.co.kr

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