In his address to Seoul’s Parliament, visiting US President Donald Trump compared North Korea’s reign to a “cruel dictatorship” and alleged that the country faced severe political oppression.
“Far from valuing its people as equal citizens, this cruel dictatorship measures them, scores them, and ranks them based on the most arbitrary indication of their allegiance to the state,” Trump said.
He called for global solidarity against the isolated nation, but he also offered leader Kim Jong-Un a possible “path towards a much better future”.
In response, South Korean lawmakers applauded the US president’s statement and vowed not to be intimidated by Pyongyang.
North Korea carried out its sixth nuclear test this year, generating global outcry.
We will not “allow American cities to be threatened with destruction,” Trump warned.
“America does not seek conflict or confrontation, but we will never run from it…We will not permit America or our allies to be blackmailed or attacked,” he added.
Earlier in the day Trump aborted a visit to the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) that separates the two Koreas.
After South Korea, Trump’s next stop in hius Asia tour is China, which is Pyongyang’s major diplomatic ally and protector.
“All responsible nations must join forces to isolate the brutal regime of North Korea…You cannot support, you cannot supply, you cannot accept,” Trump said, while referring to China and Russia.
(With inputs from agencies)