World

Trump warns N. Korea to 'not try us', accuses it of human rights abuses

SEOUL: United States President Donald Trump warned North Korea that the nuclear weapons he is developing "are not making you safer, they are putting your regime in grave danger".

Mr Trump used some of his toughest language yet against North Korea in a wide-ranging address in Seoul that lodged specific accusations of chilling human rights abuses.

He called on countries around the world to isolate Pyongyang by denying it "any form of support, supply or acceptance".

"Do not underestimate us and do not try us," he told the North as he wrapped up a visit to South Korea with a speech to the National Assembly before heading to Beijing.

Mr Trump painted a dystopian picture of the reclusive North, saying people are suffering in "gulags" (prison work camps) and some bribed government officials to work as "slaves" overseas rather than live under the government at home. He offered no evidence to support the accusations.

His return to harsh and uncompromising language against North Korea came a day after he appeared to dial back the bellicose rhetoric that had fuelled fears of military conflict across east Asia.

On Tuesday, he had even offered a diplomatic opening to Pyongyang to "make a deal".

He went mostly on the attack in yesterday's speech but did promise a "path to a much better future" for North Korea if it stopped developing ballistic missiles and agreed to "complete, verifiable and total denuclearisation", something it has vowed never to do.

'NOT ALLOW'

"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 to secure," Mr Trump said, speaking as three US aircraft carrier groups sailed to the Western Pacific for exercises - a rare show of such US naval force in the region.

"The world cannot tolerate the menace of a rogue regime that threatens it with nuclear devastation." - REUTERS

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