- President Donald Trump will reportedly deliver “strong and serious” remarks about his administration’s efforts to confront North Korea at his first-ever State of the Union address on Tuesday night.
- Trump has said inflammatory things about North Korea, its leader, and nuclear war before, but this time it’s different as North Korea and South Korea are holding talks and cooperating on the upcoming Olympics.
- North Korea has shown some signs of feeling the pressure from sanctions, so Trump may choose to go on the offensive during his State of the Union address.
President Donald Trump will reportedly deliver “eye-opening” remarks about his administration’s efforts to stop North Korea’s nuclear program at his first-ever State of the Union address on Tuesday night.
Trump will discuss the North Korean nuclear crisis in a “strong and serious way” a source told CNN’s Jim Acosta. “It will be eye-opening,” said the source, who anticipated the words dominating news coverage.
It wouldn’t be the first time Trump’s strong language against North Korea and its leader Kim Jong Un has made headlines. The president has previously called for responding to North Korean aggression with “fire and fury like the world has never seen” and “totally” destroying North Korea.
But unlike earlier remarks that were seen as escalatory and pushing both countries to the brink of nuclear war, Trump’s State of the Union address falls on a relatively peaceful time between Pyongyang and Washington.
In February, South Korea’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympics will kick off, and the US and South Korea will hold off on military drills, a main irritant in relations with the North, until mid March. North and South Korea have also introduced regular, bilateral talks about the North’s proposed inclusion in the games.
Meanwhile, there is reason to think Trump’s hard line and “maximum pressure” strategy against Pyongyang has started to work.
Rumblings from Trump’s inner circle though, even during the inter-Korean talks, have hinted at preparations for and deliberations about a possible strike on North Korea to reign in the rogue nation.
The State of the Union address, a powerful opportunity for the president to assess the country and its goals, will show if Trump plans to welcome the cooling hostilities with North Korea, or to go on the offensive.