World

Trump takes softer approach to North Korea

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA US President Donald Trump yesterday warned North Korea that he was prepared to use the full range of US military power to stop any attack. But in a more conciliatory appeal than before, he also urged Pyongyang to "make a deal" to end the nuclear standoff.

Speaking on North Korea's doorstep during a visit to Seoul, Mr Trump said while "we hope to God" not to have to resort to the use of full US military might, he was ready to do whatever was necessary to prevent North Korea from threatening millions of lives.

"We cannot allow North Korea to threaten all that we have built," Mr Trump said after talks with South Korean President Moon Jae In, who has supported diplomatic outreach to Pyongyang.

'DO THE RIGHT THING'

But at times taking a more measured, less confrontational tone, Mr Trump urged the North to "do the right thing" and added that "I do see some movement", though he declined to elaborate.

"It really makes sense for North Korea to come to the table and make a deal," Mr Trump told reporters at a joint news conference with Mr Moon.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has made clear, however, that he has little interest in negotiations, at least until he has developed a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the US mainland.

Landing earlier at Osan Air Base outside Seoul, the US President and First Lady Melania stepped down from Air Force One onto a red carpet as he began a 24-hour visit that could aggravate tension with Pyongyang .

He then flew by helicopter to Camp Humphreys, the largest US military base in the country, and met US and South Korean troops, along with Mr Moon.

The White House billed Mr Trump's trip as intended to demonstrate US resolve over a hardline approach to the North Korean nuclear and missile threats.

- REUTERS

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