Trump in Japan: 'We will not stand' for North Korean aggression

Trump in Japan: 'We will not stand' for North Korean aggression
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President Trump on Monday ramped up his war of words against North Korea, saying the U.S. and its Asian allies “will not stand” for its nuclear aggression.

Speaking in Tokyo, Trump denounced Pyongyang as a “threat to the civilized world” and demanded that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un halt development of nuclear weapons and missile tests, some of which have been fired over Japanese airspace.

“The era of strategic patience is over,” Trump said, standing alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. “Some people say my rhetoric is very strong, but look what has happened with very weak rhetoric over the past 25 years.”

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The president Monday showed he is not planning to tone down his rhetoric against North Korea during his five-nation trip to Asia, a region on edge over Kim’s nuclear activities. 

That is likely to please Abe, the nationalist leader of Japan, who has taken a similarly hard line against what Trump called the “menace” of North Korea.

He said he agreed with Trump that “all options are on the table,” including military action, to curb Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.

North Korea is arguably the most pressing issue facing Trump on his 13-day swing through Asia.

The U.S. and its allies in the region have been alarmed at the quick pace at which North Korea has developed nuclear warheads and the increased pace of missile tests, leading experts to believe they are closer to developing a nuclear weapon that can threaten the U.S. mainland.

Abe announced new sanctions against North Korean individuals, but Trump will face a major challenge in pressing China to step up economic and diplomatic pressure to isolate North Korea.

Trump will travel to China, South Korea, Vietnam and the Philippines after departing Japan.