Donald Trump says “talking is not the answer” to solve the current diplomatic crisis with North Korea, after Pyongyang launched a missile over one of Japan’s main islands.
“The U.S. has been talking to North Korea, and paying them extortion money, for 25 years,” the US President tweeted. “Talking is not the answer!”
Days before, the North Korean regime had taken the unprecedented step of launching a missile over the Japanese island of Hokkaido. The launch followed several other missile tests in the weeks proceeding, and the revelation that North Korea possessed missiles capable of reaching the US.
Mr Trump had initially threatened to rain “fire and fury” on North Korea, but had since toned down his rhetoric. At a recent campaign rally, he told supporters that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was “starting to respect us”.
“And maybe, probably not, but maybe something positive can come about,” he said.
The 29 August missile launch reversed that, leading Mr Trump to declare ominously that “all options are on the table”.
South Korea military exercise in pictures
Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, also pushed for “something serious has to happen” in regards to the conflict. The UN Security Council had already voted to impose an estimated $1bn in sanctions against the isolated North Korean regime.
Others, however, have preached restraint. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has taken a more diplomatic stance on the issue, and even praised the North Korea regime before the missile launch for “demonstrat[ing] some level of restraint”. He added that he hoped a path for dialogue could be opened in the near future.
China’s Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China also saw an opportunity for peace talks, though the country acknowledged the crisis was “approaching a critical juncture”. Russian UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia called Mr Trump’s rhetoric on the situation “troubling”.
“It’s troubling, because tensions…