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Donald Trump says US prepared for ‘military option’ on North Korea

LiveMint logoLiveMint 27-09-2017 Lalit K Jha

Washington: America is totally prepared for a military option on North Korea, President Donald Trump has said as he called on all “responsible nations” to join forces and isolate Pyongyang to ensure its complete denuclearisation.

The strong reaction from the US President came a day after North Korea said that it was ready to defend itself by shooting down US bombers. North Korea’s foreign minister Ri Yong Ho, who was in New York early this week, had accused Trump of declaring war against his country.

“We are totally prepared for the second (military) option. Not a preferred option, but if we take that option, it will be devastating — I can tell you that — devastating for North Korea. That’s called the military option. If we have to take it, we will,” Trump told reporters on Tuesday in a joint news conference with the visiting Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

Responding to a question, Trump said that the North Korean leader (Kim Jong Un) is “acting very badly”. He’s saying things that should “never, ever” be said, alleged the US President.

“North Korea is a situation that should have been handled 25 years ago, 20 years ago, 15 years ago, 10 years ago, and five years ago, and it could have been handled much more easily,” he said.

Trump said previous US administrations had left a mess for him to clear. He said that North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile programme threatened the entire world with unthinkable loss of life.

“As such all nations must act now to ensure the regime’s complete denuclearisation,” he said. “It is time for all responsible nations to join forces, to isolate the North Korean menace,” Trump said as he appreciated the UN Security Council voting twice to adopt hard-hitting resolutions against North Korea.

Trump also praised China’s latest action to restrict its trade with North Korea. “This is something that people would have thought unthinkable even two months ago. I want to thank President Xi (Jinping),” he said.

North Korea has been working to develop nuclear-tipped missiles capable of hitting the US mainland, and conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test this month. so far, economic measures have not deterred Pyongyang from a string of missile tests.

Trump and the North Korean regime have exchanged fiery rhetoric in recent days, escalating tensions between the two nations. PTI

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