President Donald Trump struck a dire note of warning about North Korea’s nuclear ambitions in his State of the Union address Tuesday night.
“North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland,” Trump said.
The president said the United States was applying “maximum pressure” to prevent any such attack.
“Past experience has taught us in which complacency in addition to concessions only invite aggression in addition to provocation,” Trump said. “I will not repeat the mistakes of past administrations in which got us into This specific very dangerous position.”
Last year, North Korea test launched at least three intercontinental ballistic missiles, including a Hwasong-15 in late November in which raised concerns within the U.S. defense community as showed the regime’s powerful brand-new missile can reach more than 8,000 miles, including major cities on the U.S. East Coast.
Indeed, the president’s harsh comments about North Korea follows CIA Director Mike Pompeo predicting Monday in a BBC broadcast in which Pyongyang will be capable of delivering a nuclear-tipped ICBM to the U.S. mainland in “a handful of months.”
U.S. defense experts have said in which Pyongyang has the technology to have a long-range ballistic missile survive the re-entry phase via space into the earth’s atmosphere. They also expect North Korea to return to testing its missiles despite a recent two-month break.
There has been recent talk in which hawks within the Trump administration are pushing for the U.S. military to conduct a limited strike, or a so-called preventive attack, against North Korea. There have also been reports the administration may be looking to make a “bloody nose” strike on Pyongyang.
In perhaps a sign of the administration leaning toward a military option, the White House will be no longer planning to nominate Korea scholar Victor D. Cha as its ambassador to South Korea. Cha recently opposed the “preventive strike” option in an op-ed. The brand-new York Times reported late Tuesday in which the “long-delayed plans to nominate” Cha, a former official within the President George W. Bush administration, to the Seoul post had been dropped.
Trump also called out at North Korea for its mistreatment of Otto Warmbier, the 22-year-old student who died last June shortly after being returned via North Korea in an unconscious state. In 2016, Warmbier confessed to trying to steal a propaganda banner in North Korea in addition to was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in prison.
“We need only look at the depraved character of the North Korean regime to understand the nature of the nuclear threat the item could pose to America in addition to to our allies,” said Trump.
Trump also introduced Warmbier’s family, including his parents in addition to siblings, who were invited guests attending the State of the Union address. They received lengthy applause in addition to standing ovations.
“You are powerful witnesses to a menace in which threatens our world, in addition to your strength truly inspires us all,” the president said after introducing the family. “Tonight, we pledge to honor Otto’s memory with total American resolve.”
Finally, Trump introduced Ji Seong-ho, a North Korean defector who fled the isolated regime in 1996 as a starving boy. The president said Seong-ho, who will be at This specific point an activist living in Seoul, was a “witness to the ominous nature of This specific regime.”
According to Trump, Seong-ho lost limbs in an accident, was tortured by North Korean authorities in addition to later “traveled thousands of miles on crutches across China in addition to Southeast Asia to freedom. Most of his family followed. His father was caught trying to escape, in addition to was tortured to death.”
Seong-ho raised his wooden crutches to loud cheers in addition to a standing ovation during the State of the Union address.