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Trump Arrives In South Korea To Put Pressure On Pyongyang

US president Donald Trump has arrived in South Korea to begin a two-day visit centered on pressuring the North to abandon its nuclear...

Donald Trump

US president Donald Trump has arrived in South Korea to begin a two-day visit centred on pressuring the North to abandon its nuclear weapons programme.

Mr Trump has repeatedly struck a hard line against Pyongyang, and South Korea will be warily watching him as he is poised to warn North Korea of the consequences if they continue.

Yesterday the president refused to rule out eventual military action against the north and exhorted dictator Kim Jong-un to stop weapons testing.

He called the recent launches of missiles over American allies like Japan "a threat to the civilised world and international peace and stability".

"We will not stand for that," Mr Trump said at a Monday news conference with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe.

"The era of strategic patience is over. Some people say my rhetoric is very strong but look what has happened with very weak rhetoric in the last 25 years."

As part of his Asia tour, Mr Trump will visit South Korea, where he will forgo the customary trip to the demilitarised zone separating North and South.

This is a pilgrimage usually made by US Presidents as a demonstration of solidarity with the South.

 Instead, Mr Trump planned to visit Camp Humphreys, a military base about 40 miles South of Seoul.

President Moon Jae-in South Korea
PICTURED: South Korean President Moon Jae-in

US and South Korean officials have said the base visit is meant to underscore the countries' ties and South Korea's commitment to contributing to its own defence.

Mr Trump and South Korea's liberal President Moon Jae-in agree on the need to pressure the North with sanctions and other deterrence measures.

But Mr Trump has warned of unleashing "fire and fury", threatened to "totally destroy" the North, if necessary, and repeatedly insisted that all options are on the table.

Mr Moon, meanwhile, flavors dialogue as the best strategy for defusing the nuclear tension and vehemently opposes a potential military clash that could cause enormous casualties in South Korea.

Mr Trump also sent a request to Capitol Hill on Monday for four billion dollars to support "additional efforts to detect, defeat, and defend against any North Korean use of ballistic missiles against the United States, its deployed forces, allies, or partners".

And as he departed for South Korea, he tweeted that Mr Moon is "a fine gentleman", adding, "We will figure it all out!"

On a personal level, Mr Trump and Mr Moon have not developed the same close rapport as Mr Trump has with Mr Abe or even China's Xi Jinping.

Part of Mr Moon's mission during the visit will likely be to strengthen his personal ties with Mr Trump, said Michael O'Hanlon, a senior fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institution.

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