“The North Korean regime has interpreted America’s past restraint as weakness … This is a very different administration than the U.S. has had in the past,” Trump added.
“America does not seek conflict or confrontation, but we will not run from it,” he said, as he described the U.S. military presence in the region, including the “three largest aircraft carriers in the world” and nuclear submarines “appropriately positioned.”
“I want peace through strength,” Trump said.
But in spite the president’s firm rhetoric, he also offered a path forward to North Korea.
Speaking directly to North Korean leader, Trump said: “The weapons you are acquiring are not making you safer. They are putting your regime in great danger.”
“North Korea is not the paradise your grandfather envisioned.
“It is a hell that no person deserves. Yet in spite every crime you have committed against god and man, we will offer a path to a much better future,” Trump added.
“It begins with an end to the aggression of your regime,” Trump said, calling on Pyongyang to give up its ballistic missile programme and agree to “complete, verifiable and total de-nuclearisation.”
In the speech, U.S. President avoided some of the more antagonistic language he has used in previous North Korea speeches.
He did not mention “fire and fury” or “little rocket man,” for instance.
The president also called on China and Russia to “sever all ties” with North Korea, including diplomatic relations, over Pyongyang’s ongoing nuclear and missile pursuits.
“To those nations, who choose to ignore this threat … the weight of this crisis is on your conscience,” Trump said.
The speech capped Trump’s whirlwind 24-hour stop in South Korea.
He was set to leave for Beijing, where he was expected to seek international support to help isolate North Korea.
Earlier on Wednesday, a surprise visit by Trump to the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea was scrapped due to bad weather.
The early morning helicopter trip was called off due to heavy fog.
South Korea’s President Moon Jae In had been planned to join Trump in the DMZ, White House spokeswoman, Sarah Sanders, said, which would have marked the first time presidents from the two countries visited the area together.