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President Donald Trump will wrap up his visit to Seoul on Wednesday with a major speech on North Korea and then shift focus to China, where he is expected to press a reluctant President Xi Jinping to tighten the screws further on Pyongyang, US officials say.
Trump’s address to South Korea’s National Assembly will come a day after he seemed to take a more balanced approach: threatening to use America’s full military might against North Korea if needed, but also offering it a diplomatic opening to “make a deal” to end the nuclear standoff.
While Trump presented no specific solution to his toughest global security challenge, his more conciliatory rhetoric toward North Korea could help lower tensions between Washington and Pyongyang that have put much of the east Asian region on edge over the prospects for military conflict.
It contrasted markedly with Trump’s earlier threats to “totally destroy” North Korea if it threatened the United States, and the personal insults he exchanged with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
It remains to be seen, however, whether the unpredictable Trump, in his final day on North Korea’s doorstep, will build on this approach or return to the bellicose language that has characterized his handling of the North Korean issue.
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