(SEOUL) — President Trump suggested he could “make a deal” with North Korea, but would not say whether he still believed direct talks with the regime were a waste of time.
“I really believe that it makes sense for North Korea to come to the table and to make a deal that’s good for the people of North Korea and the people of the world,” the president said in a press conference with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
It was a very different tone for the president, who has used aggressive rhetoric in the past when speaking about the isolated country.
Trump added that he sees “certain movement” in response to his administration’s approach to pressuring North Korea to back away from its nuclear program.
“We will together confront North Korea’s actions and prevent the North Korea dictator from threatening millions of lives,” Trump said. “He’s indeed threatening millions and millions of lives so needlessly.”
The president called on the international community — including China and Russia — to come together in an effort to prevent further escalation, calling North Korea’s nuclear ambitions a global threat that requires worldwide action.
Trump, who said he told his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that any negotiations with Kim Jong Un were a waste of time, declined to say whether he still believed that.
Previously, he said all options, including diplomatic negotiations, remained on the table when dealing with North Korea. In August, however, the president warned that the rogue nation would be “met with fire and fury” if it threatened the security of the U.S. or its allies.
While Trump did not rule out military action, he said he hoped the nuclear standoff with North Korea could be resolved through other channels.
“As we work together to resolve this problem using all available tools short of military action, the United States stands prepared to defend itself and its allies using the full range of our unmatched military capabilities if need be,” Trump said.
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