Trump to North Korea: 'Do not underestimate us'

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a joint press conference with South Korean President Moon Jae-In at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. (Jung Yeon-Je/Pool Photo via AP)

Addressing South Korea's National Assembly Wednesday, President Donald Trump extended a blunt warning to North Korea.

"Do not underestimate us," Trump said. "And do not try us."

The U.S. will not tolerate the threatening of its cities with destruction, Trump said. Rather, North Korea's Kim Jong Un should abandon attempts to intimidate.

The nuclear weapons North Korea is building "are not making you safer," Trump declared. "They are putting your regime in grave danger."

Earlier in the day, Trump was forced to aborted a visit to the heavily fortified Korean demilitarized zone -- a tradition for travelling U.S. presidents -- due to bad weather. Though the trip was not disclosed ahead of time, it had been planned well before, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

The speech marked the second day of Trump's five-country tour of Asia. The trip, which began in Japan, moves next to China.

Calling North Korea's regime a "menace" the world "cannot tolerate," Trump declared that the globe will not stand for the possibility of nuclear devastation. The president urged "responsible nations" to unite -- and deny North Korea support and inclusion.

The call for unity came moments after Trump sought to illustrate the bleakness of life for North Korea's people.

Under Kim Jong Un, life is so crushing that citizens bribe politicians to leave and become slaves, Trump said. Unlike in South Korea, people live in homes without plumbing and electricity.

During his time in South Korea, Trump has sought to aid the nation's military in coping with North Korean nuclear threats, President Moon Jae-in said.

North Korea has fired more than a dozen missiles this year, the most recent of which was two months ago.

According to Moon's office, the leaders discussed the acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines and reconnaissance assets to better combat North Korea's growing nuclear arsenal.

The move to strengthen South Korea's military presence has been met with approval from officials, who have vocalized concern that the North's missile testing could endanger Seoul's relationship with Washington.

Trump's Wednesday remarks were at odds with his comments a day earlier, in which he signaled an openness to compromise with the government of North Korea.

Asking the nation to "come to the table," Trump said in a press conference with Moon that the U.S. would be willing to "make a deal."

He also expressed an vague optimism, telling press: "Ultimately, it'll all work out."

There have been no public signs of diplomatic relations between Pyongyang and Washington.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off