The president reportedly denied recent reports that he intends to give North Korea a “bloody nose” in a phone conversation with the South Korean president Wednesday.
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the Trump administration is debating limited strikes on North Korea in response to its provocations. Many other news outlets quickly followed suit, claiming the president was seriously considering this strategic option.
In his second phone call with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, President Donald Trump reportedly denied any such considerations. Trump said that the reports are “not true at all,” stating that he will not be advising any use of military force against North Korea, a South Korean official from the presidential office explained to Yonhap News Agency.
“The Wall Street Journal recently reported that I am considering a military strike against North Korea, but this is not true at all,” Trump said, according to the Blue House, the office of the South Korean president, “I want to make it clear to me that there will be no military action during the inter-Korean dialogue.”
Trump flatly denied the WSJ report that he was thinking about military strikes on North Korea, according to the South Korean read-out of their phone call.
— Anna Fifield (@annafifield) January 10, 2018
North and South Korea met for the first high-level bilateral talks in two years Tuesday to discuss North Korea’s participation in the Winter Olympics and ways to reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
Trump has been supportive of the talks, calling them a “good thing.” The president has even said that he would be willing to talk to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un on the phone.
Moon personally thanked the president in a speech Tuesday evening, giving Trump credit for creating an environment conducive to talks between the two Koreas.
The day before the call between Trump and Moon, the Washington Examiner revealed that Pentagon officials are not interested in a strike on North Korea. “None of the officials who spoke to the Washington Examiner was aware of any serious consideration of conducting a limited strike against North Korea, although military officials acknowledged a wide range of military options are ready if the president requests them,” the outlet explained Tuesday.
The White House has not yet released a readout of the call between the president and Moon.
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