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President Trump: Addressing the threat posed by North Korea
Following are a few excerpts from President Donald Trump’s speech on Nov. 8, 2017, to the South Korean National Assembly...on the topic of North Korea.
The Korean miracle extends exactly as far as the armies of free nations advanced in 1953 – 24 miles to the north. There, it stops; it all comes to an end. Dead stop. The flourishing ends, and the prison state of North Korea sadly begins.
Workers in North Korea labor grueling hours in unbearable conditions for almost no pay. Recently, the entire working population was ordered to work for 70 days straight, or else pay for a day of rest....
Among children under the age of five, nearly 30 percent are afflicted by stunted growth due to malnutrition. And yet, in 2012 and 2013, the regime spent an estimated $200 million – or almost half the money that it allocated to improve living standards for its people – to instead build even more monuments, towers, and statues to glorify its dictators....
An estimated 100,000 North Koreans suffer in gulags, toiling in forced labor, and enduring torture, starvation, rape, and murder on a constant basis....
Soldiers have kidnapped foreigners and forced them to work as language tutors for North Koreans spies....
When the Korean War began in 1950, the two Koreas were approximately equal in GDP per capita. But by the 1990s, South Korea’s wealth had surpassed North Korea’s by more than 10 times. And today, the South’s economy is over 40 times larger. You started the same a short while ago and now you’re 40 times larger. You’re doing something right....
North Korea is a country ruled as a cult. At the center of this military cult is a deranged belief in the leader’s destiny to rule as parent protector over a conquered Korean Peninsula and an enslaved Korean people.
The more successful South Korea becomes, the more decisively you discredit the dark fantasy at the heart of the Kim regime.
In this way, the very existence of a thriving South Korean republic threatens the very survival of the North Korean dictatorship....
The North Korean regime has pursued its nuclear and ballistic missile programs in defiance of every assurance, agreement, and commitment it has made to the United States and its allies. It’s broken all of those commitments. After promising to freeze its plutonium program in 1994, it reaped the benefits of the deal and then immediately continued its illicit nuclear activities.
In 2005, after years of diplomacy, the dictatorship agreed to ultimately abandon its nuclear programs and return to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation. But it never did. And worse, it tested the very weapons it said it was going to give up. In 2009, the United States gave negotiations yet another chance, and offered North Korea the open hand of engagement. The regime responded by sinking a South Korean Navy ship, killing 46 Korean sailors. To this day, it continues to launch missiles over the sovereign territory of Japan and all other neighbors, test nuclear devices, and develop ICBMs to threaten the United States itself. The regime has interpreted America’s past restraint as weakness. This would be a fatal miscalculation. This is a very different administration than the United States has had in the past.
Today, I hope I speak not only for our countries, but for all civilized nations, when I say to the North: Do not underestimate us, and do not try us. We will defend our common security, our shared prosperity, and our sacred liberty....
America’s men and women in uniform have given their lives in the fight against Nazism, imperialism, Communism and terrorism.
America does not seek conflict or confrontation, but we will never run from it. History is filled with discarded regimes that have foolishly tested America’s resolve.
Anyone who doubts the strength or determination of the United States should look to our past, and you will doubt it no longer. We will not permit America or our allies to be blackmailed or attacked. We will not allow American cities to be threatened with destruction. We will not be intimidated. And we will not let the worst atrocities in history be repeated here, on this ground, we fought and died so hard to secure....
All responsible nations must join forces to isolate the brutal regime of North Korea... You cannot support, you cannot supply, you cannot accept. We call on every nation, including China and Russia, to fully implement U.N. Security Council resolutions, downgrade diplomatic relations with the regime, and sever all ties of trade and technology.
It is our responsibility and our duty to confront this danger together – because the longer we wait, the greater the danger grows, and the fewer the options become. And to those nations that choose to ignore this threat, or, worse still, to enable it, the weight of this crisis is on your conscience.
I also have come here to this peninsula to deliver a message directly to the leader of the North Korean dictatorship: The weapons you are acquiring are not making you safer. They are putting your regime in grave danger. Every step you take down this dark path increases the peril you face.
North Korea is not the paradise your grandfather envisioned. It is a hell that no person deserves. Yet, despite every crime you have committed against God and man, (we) are ready to offer a path to a much better future. It begins with an end to the aggression of your regime, a stop to your development of ballistic missiles, and complete, verifiable, and total denuclearization....
Together, we dream of a Korea that is free, a peninsula that is safe, and families that are reunited once again. We dream of highways connecting North and South, of cousins embracing cousins, and this nuclear nightmare replaced with the beautiful promise of peace.
Until that day comes, we stand strong and alert. Our eyes are fixed to the North, and our hearts praying for the day when all Koreans can live in freedom.
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