SOTU: Trump talks North Korea's 'reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles', 'cruel dictatorship'

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U.S. President Donald Trump listens during a briefing on hurricane Harvey recovery efforts in Dallas, Texas, U.S, October 25, 2017.
U.S. President Donald Trump listens during a briefing on hurricane Harvey recovery efforts in Dallas, Texas, U.S, October 25, 2017. Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

United States President Donald Trump warned in his first State of the Union address on Tuesday that North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear missiles “could very soon” threaten his homeland. He assured that the US was waging a campaign of "maximum pressure" to prevent any such attack.

“No regime has oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally than the cruel dictatorship in North Korea,” Trump said on Tuesday. He also mentioned the story of Ji Seong-ho, who defected from North Korea to South Korea in 2006. Trump also talked about American student Otto Warmbier, who after being detained in North Korea for 17 months was sent home in a coma before his death.

The US commander-in-chief spotlighted Warmbier's parents Fred and Cindy, who received a standing ovation as they wept. Trump had pledged to honour Warmbier’s memory.

The POTUS also discussed Ji’s story. The latter passed out on train tracks from hunger and lost his left hand and foot. The North Korean regime supposedly tortured him after he decided to cross the border into China in search of food. His father was caught as he was trying to escape and was tortured, it has been said.

“Today he lives in Seoul, where he rescues other defectors and broadcasts into North Korea what the regime fears the most -the truth,” Trump said in his speech. He also applauded Ji for his sacrifice, calling it an inspiration.

Ji stood up and lifted up his crutches. He got a standing ovation during the State of the Union address. Trump added that Ji’s story is a “testament to the yearning of every human soul to live in freedom.”

Trump said that past experience has taught that “complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation.” The POTUS maintained that he will not repeat the “mistakes of past administrations that got us into this very dangerous position.”

North Korea test-launched last year three intercontinental ballistic missiles. These include a Hwasong-15 in November.

According to US defence experts, Pyongyang has the technology to have a long-range ballistic missile survive the re-entry phase from space into the earth's atmosphere. Despite a recent two-month break, experts expect North Korea to resume testing its missiles, CNBC reports.

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