President Donald Trump will address the national assembly in South Korea early Wednesday amid growing tensions with North Korea over its nuclear program.
President Donald Trump will deliver a speech to South Korea’s national assembly at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday. Watch live in the player above.
In addition to praising the U.S.-South Korea relationship, Mr. Trump is expected to issue a global call for increased pressure on North Korea and its nuclear and missile programs.
South Korea is Trump’s second stop on a 12-day, five-country tour of Asia. South Korean officials told daily newspaper The Hankyoreh that they were worried about what Trump might say and how it could escalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula. At a news conference in Japan, Trump did not rule out military intervention in the region and suggested that the U.S. would be willing to provide Japan with military equipment to fight Pyongyang, as it has done with other allies in the Middle East.
Trump also submitted a request to Congress for billions in emergency funding to bolster U.S. missiles and other equipment that could help respond to North Korean threats. North Korean defector Thae Yong-ho told PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff on Friday that even a limited attack by U.S. would trigger all-out war.
As Trump prepared to leave Japan, he tweeted that he and President Moon Jae-In “will figure it all out!”
While in South Korea, the president will meet with President Moon, attend a state dinner and visit the national cemetery in Seoul.
The president will not, however, visit the Demilitarized Zone, the 2.5-mile border zone that separates the two Koreas, as both Vice President Mike Pence and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis did on their visits earlier this year.
Such a visit would have shown Trump “the potential costs of the rhetoric he has been trading with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un,” Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., told Politico — though others worried a visit could increase that rhetoric.
A Marist-PBS NewsHour poll in October showed that 58 percent of Americans had little to no confidence in Trump’s ability to lead during an international crisis.
PBS NewsHour will update this story as it develops.