Trump Headed to South Korea Amid Heightened Tensions With Pyongyang

Trump Headed to South Korea Amid Heightened Tensions With Pyongyang

Trump Headed to South Korea Amid Heightened Tensions With Pyongyang

President Donald Trump visits South Korea on Tuesday on the second leg of his first official Asian tour.

The president has threatened to unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea and warned that he may be forced to "totally destroy" the rogue state.

Trump won't visit the heavily-fortified demilitarized zone that separates North and South Korea - foregoing what has been a symbolic opportunity for U.S. commanders in chief to stare into the Hermit Kingdom - declaring it a "little bit of a cliche".

The U.S. president said he could not understand why a country of samurai warriors did not shoot down the missiles, the sources said.

'Every once in a while, in the past, they underestimated us.

"It's crucial for Trump to show that he's willing to defend and protect South Korea because there's a lot of questions and concerns on the part of South Koreans about his commitment to that alliance, and that has fed fears here in South Korea that they may be abandoned", said Jean Lee, a global fellow at the Wilson Center and former Pyongyang bureau chief for The Associated Press.

A key USA ally, South Korea is home to more than 50 million people.

Delury said, with Pyongyang quiet, United States military maneuvers risk putting Washington in the role of provocateur. South Korea's foreign minister made similar remarks during a parliament committee meeting earlier last week.

The Trump administration "has failed to articulate any plans to prevent the military conflict from expanding beyond the Korean peninsula and to manage what happens after the conflict is over". At present, South Korea is defended by the United States nuclear umbrella, a guarantee by Washington to defend the country in the wake of an attack. With North Korea's defeat - but at what cost?,' Givens said.

The last time the two men met, at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, North Korea launched a missile over Japan. On Sept. 3, Pyongyang conducted its sixth nuclear test.

"The era of strategic patience is over", he told journalists in Tokyo alongside Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. "The regime continues development of its unlawful weapons programs including its illegal nuclear tests and outrageous launches of ballistic missiles directly over Japanese territory are a threat to the civilized world and worldwide peace and stability".

It comes after a series of missile and nuclear tests in the past few months, a sharp escalation from recent years.

He is warning North Korea's heavily persecuted Christian minority will be the first to suffer if Trump doesn't back down. A hint at a military option or crude insults directed at Kim - like the term "Little Rocket Man" he previously used to deride the young North Korean dictator - is certain to enrage North Korea, which could react with weapons tests and threats of war. It also wants nothing short of full normalization of relations with the US and to be treated with respect and as an equal in the global arena.

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