In Tokyo, Trump Blasts 'Weak Rhetoric' of Past on N. Korea

His 'very strong' rhetoric includes saying the North is 'threat to the civilized world'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 6, 2017 5:57 AM CST
Trump on N. Korea: 'Threat to the Civilized World'
President Trump, fifth from right, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, fifth from left, sit at a table during a luncheon at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo on Monday.   (Doug Mills/Pool Photo via AP)

President Trump ratcheted up the pressure on North Korea on Monday, refusing to rule out eventual military action and declaring that the US "will not stand" for Pyongyang menacing America or its Asian allies. Trump, in Tokyo on the first stop of his lengthy Asia trip, denounced North Korea as "a threat to the civilized world" and exhorted dictator Kim Jong Un to cease weapons testing like the missiles he has fired over Japanese territory in recent weeks, the AP reports. Though he stood in one of the Asian capitals in range of North Korea's missiles, Trump didn't modulate his fiery language, declaring that Pyongyang imperiled "international peace and stability." "Some people say my rhetoric is very strong, but look what has happened with very weak rhetoric in the last 25 years," said Trump, who stood with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a Monday news conference.

Abe agreed with Trump's assessment that "all options are on the table" when dealing with the North and announced new sanctions against several dozen individuals. Though Trump and Abe repeatedly touted their friendship, Trump did complain Japan had been "winning" for decades on the trade front and rebuked the current status, saying trade deals were "not fair and not open." Trump also pushed Japan to buy more US military equipment after Abe was asked about a report that Trump was disappointed Japan hadn't shot North Korean missiles out of the sky. "He will shoot 'em out of the sky when he completes the purchase of lots of additional military equipment from the [US]," Trump said. Japan's constitution was revised after World War II to include a clause renouncing war, and the country only spends about 1% of its GDP on defense; Abe has slowly tried to remove some of its constraints.

(More North Korea stories.)

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