Trump Attacks North Korea In Seoul Speech

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President Donald Trump has criticized the North Korean regime in a speech delivered to the South Korean National Assembly.

Trump is currently on a 12-day trip to Asia, which has included stops in Japan and China, according to the BBC.

The president issued a warning to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, declaring that "the weapons you are acquiring are not making you safer."

"Do not underestimate us," he said, the BBC reported. "Do not try us."

Tensions with North Korea have risen in 2017 as the country has carried out nuclear tests. Trump, for his part, has threatened to launch a war on North Korea.

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In September, Trump vowed to "totally destroy" North Korea, a country of 25 million people, and referred to Jong-un as "Little Rocket Man," according to The Washington Post.

Trump addressed him directly during his remarks at the South Korean National Assembly.

"North Korea is not the paradise your grandfather envisioned," he said. "It is a hell that no person deserves."

Jong-un's grandfather, Kim Il Sung, founded North Korea in 1948. Jong-un bases his legitimacy as supreme leader on being a direct descendant of Sung.

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"North Korea is a country ruled as a cult," Trump added. "At the center of this military cult is a deranged belief in the leader's destiny to rule as parent-protector over a conquered Korean Peninsula and an enslaved Korean people."

Trump also contrasted his hosts with their northern neighbor.

"The more successful South Korea becomes, the more decisively you discredit the dark fantasy at the heart of the Kim regime," he told South Korean lawmakers.

Cheong Seong-chan of the Sejong Institute think tank in South Korea stated that Trump's speech could escalate the situation.

"North Korea is highly likely to take Trump's address as a declaration of war and call for a holy war of its own against the U.S.," Cheong told The Post.

But others saw an opening for talks in Trump's remarks. Victor Cha, who is in the running to be Trump's nominee as Washington's ambassador to South Korea, wrote on Twitter that the president offered Jong-un a "diplomacy exit ramp."

Lee Hyeon-seo, who escaped North Korea and attended Trump's speech, was enthused.

"I wanted to stand up from my seat and shout, 'Yahoo!'" he told The Post. "We just don't hear people talking about North Korea in this way in South Korea, so I was very emotional during the speech. I was very impressed."

Sources: BBC News, The Washington Post / Featured Image: DVIDS / Embedded Images: The White House/Flickr (2)

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