Flagging North Korea’s nuclear missile programme a threat to American cities, US President Donald Trump added that “rivals” like China and Russia are challenging America’s interests, economy and values.
“Around the world, we face rogue regimes, terrorist groups, and rivals like China and Russia that challenge our interests, our economy, and our values,” Trump said in his maiden State of the Union Address.
“As part of our defence, we must modernise and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, hopefully never having to use it, but making it so strong and powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression,” he said.
“Perhaps someday in the future there will be a magical moment when the countries of the world will get together to eliminate their nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, we are not there yet,” the US President said in his speech keenly followed across the several countries.
Trump also patted his back on the accomplishments of goals concerning neutralising terror syndicate ISIS.
“One year later, I am proud to report that the coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated almost 100 per cent of the territory once held by these killers in Iraq and Syria. But there is much more work to be done. We will continue our fight until ISIS is defeated,” he said.
Shifting his focus to North Korea, Trump warned that North Korea’s “reckless pursuit” of nuclear missile could threaten American cities, asserting that he will not “repeat the mistakes” of past administrations that got the US into “dangerous position”.
“North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland. We are waging a campaign of maximum pressure to prevent that from happening,” he said, indicating that he will take preventive measure to stop North Korea from gaining a nuclear weapon.
Trump shared the story of American student Otto Warmbier, who was held prisoner in North Korea for 17 months and died at a hospital in the US last year, just days after he was released from captivity in a coma.
“Otto Warmbier was a hardworking student at the University of Virginia. On his way to study abroad in Asia, Otto joined a tour to North Korea. At its conclusion, this wonderful young man was arrested and charged with crimes against the state,” Trump said.
“After a shameful trial, the dictatorship sentenced Otto to 15 years of hard labor, before returning him to America last June — horribly injured and on the verge of death. He passed away just days after his return,” he said.
Referring to previous US regimes, Trump said, “past experience has taught us that complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation… I will not repeat the mistakes of past administrations that got us into this very dangerous position”.
(With inputs from PTI)