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Presidents Trump And Moon Holding News Conference; Trump: North Korea Is Threat To People Across Globe; North Korea Watching Trump's Seoul Trip Closely. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired November 7, 2017 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[03:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, HOST, CNN: Hello, everybody. I'm John Vause, live in Los Angeles where we are following breaking news from Texas and the investigation into the mass shooting at a church over the weekend. We'll have more on that in a moment.
ANNA COREN, HOST, CNN: And I'm Anna Coren, live in Seoul where President Trump is meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. The nuclear threat from North Korea is expected to dominate the agenda to latest assets to address the media very shortly. And we'll take you live so that.
But let's bring in Kim Sung-han now, he's a former vice foreign minister of South Korea. Great to have you with us.
KIM SUNG-HAN, FORMER VICE FOREIGN MINISTER OF SOUTH KOREA: Thank you.
COREN: Obviously, a lot of people concerned that Donald Trump is somewhat dragging South Korea to the brink of war with the harsh rhetoric and he's reckless comments. Do you share their concerns?
SUNG-HAN: I don't think so. Because North Korea currently is putting is putting us to the brink, which means South Korea itself is relying on the so-called brinkmanship strategy. So in that sense President Trump is no sitting idly and you know, enforce a lot of pressure on North Korea so that North Korea may come to the negotiating table.
COREN: North Korea...
SUNG-HAN: But making dialogue is not good thing, you know.
COREN: North Korea has been doing these things for many years, obviously trying to develop its nuclear weapons program. What has changed however, is the rhetoric from the United States.
SUNG-HAN: United States rhetoric has been pretty gentle and extremely rational. You know, quite recently, the Obama administration's key word was strategic patience, but a lot of pundits are saying this is almost nothing.
So in that sense I think President Trump even it include some harsh words, first of all, we are very delighted to see he is, you know, putting North Korea on the top of his agenda and also he says all options are at the able by intimidating North Korea so that North Korea may be somewhat scared, you know, and also North Korea might reduce the speed of accelerating the capability of, you know, the nuclear ICBMs. And so in that sense it is workable.
COREN: Well, only Donald Trump said that this will be all resolve, which is an interesting statement coming from the American president considering what he's been saying over the past nine or ten months. Do you think that he is capable of somehow resolving this, if you are pleased with the pressure that he is applying on North Korea?
SUNG-HAN: I hope so. I hope so, but theoretically speaking it will be taking a lot of time and energy not just the United States alone, but also Japan, China are OK kind of combined efforts are needed. So in that sense I think that is one of the primary reasons why President Trump is visiting these Asian three countries, particularly China which is the key.
Whether China and how much China will be cooperating will be the key to resolving the North Korean nuclear problem.
COREN: And we know that President Trump leaves South Korea for Beijing, China where he will meet with President Xi Jinping. Do you, as a South Korean feel that China is doing enough.
SUNG-HAN: Quite frankly, not quite enough. I think China I believe is always looking at North Korean issues through the lens of China-U.S. strategic competition, which means the North Korean issue is virtually link with the Taiwan, East China Sea and South China Sea issues.
So I hope, you know, China will be able to isolate the North Korean issues from the rest of the other strategic issues, you know, related to North Korea. Then I think China will be able to meet our expectations. We will get closer to the final destination which is denuclearization of North Korea.
COREN: The international community certainly has been applying the screws. Obviously, sanctions have increased, we just heard from Japan they are also increasing sanctions as of today, and that is something obviously that Donald Trump will want China to commit to even further but it doesn't seem to be changing North Korea's stance. Kim Jong-un is held bent on developing his nuclear weapons program, so how you get through to him?
[03:04:58] SUNG-HAN: I think the real sanctions have been just started, you know, even though we had been imposing a lot of sanctions particularly the U.N. Security Council but they were pretty much, you know, week ad superficial. But quite recently particularly after the North Korea's sixth nuclear test we have come up with the real sanctions strengthening the so-called the regime security of North Korea.
So in that sense I think we have to wait until North Korea will be suffering and then finally makes a strategic decision to come to the negotiating table. COREN: OK. Well, let's hope they will think.
SUNG-HAN: I hope so.
COREN: Kim Sung-han, many thanks for joining us. That's Kin Sung-han, former vice foreign minister here joining me in Seoul. But we are still waiting for that press conference from Donald Trump and the South Korean president.
But senior White House correspondent Jeff Zeleny joins me now. Jeff, what can we expect to come out of this (Inaudible).
JEFF ZELENY, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, certainly going to would be very interesting meeting. They have already been meeting as you've been discussing. And of course North Korea is at the center here, but this is going to be a chance I think for the president to show up his - if he's going to be consistent on really not doubling down on those very sharp and harsh remarks he was making, you know, for months now against Kim Jong-un.
That's one thing I've been struck by here traveling with the president is defending the harsh rhetoric from the past, saying you know, the end of the strategic patience is over, yet he is not repeating any of the incendiary remarks like rocket man or saying over the fire and fury and like the world is ever seen here.
So I think the president, President Trump that is, is a measuring his words in some respect, but of course we will watch to see what he says when he is addressing via reporters here at the Blue House across town here in Seoul.
And again, of course you can also be asked about domestic concerns as well back in the U.S. Of course, that shooting in Texas still many concerns about that. He was asked about that in his conference a couple days ago in Japan here. So, each leader is going to get two questions from the South Korean press as well as the U.S. press and you know, talk about these issues that are front and center today.
COREN: Jeff, I wanted to talk to you about the president's language because it does seem to have altered. Certainly in Japan he talked about the end of an era of strategic patience, here in country in South Korea we heard from him earlier saying that this will ultimately all work out.
Certainly the language has somewhat shifted it down somewhat. Wouldn't you agree?
ZELENY: It has up until now. I mean, you hate to ever said anything as permanent or finally or final, particularly with President Trump where you have seem him be be quite unpredictable about this. But there's no question that we have seen a pattern of the president really dialing back his rhetoric and not talking as much about North Korea here as he's on the Korean peninsula as when he is in other places here.
So, it is definitely something that he is trying to bring other leaders along here. We saw him meeting of course with the Japanese prime minister who is probably his closest ally here in the region. There's a new sanctions from Japan. He is certainly what seems to be having a much more cordial meeting here in South Korea with President Moon and some of their previous conversations have been.
You know, it wasn't that long ago that the U.S. president was accusing him of appeasement. While it certainly looks like they were getting on quite well. I was struck by how South Korean President Moon was quite frankly, flattering him and showering him with praise and congratulating President Trump on his victory from one year ago, even speaking in his campaign rhetoric saying you have made great progress to make America great again.
So, it certainly sounds to me that this is President Moon who is trying to get on the right side. The good side of President Trump, and as world leaders have seen one of the best ways to do that is quite friendly, to suck up to him. Anna?
COREN: That's one way to put it, Jeff. I like it. Well, it seems to be working because certainly President Trump said he loves the tremendous spirit that he is feeling here in Seoul.
COREN: And certainly they're rolled out the red carpet, know the pomp in ceremony so we know that he loves to be adored. But let me ask you this, a lot of South Koreans were concerned that by Donald Trump coming here it would only exacerbate tensions here on the Korean peninsula but, you know, we don't want to get to ahead of ourselves but running on day three of this visit.
COREN: But they haven't been any missteps and he does seem to be on his best behavior.
[03:09:57] ZELENY: No question about that. I think one thing, I mean, these trips -- these trips are largely scripted especially a trip like this very high stakes and it is scripted every moment and he has been, you know, really developing relationships with these leaders.
This is not the first time he spend any of them. Of course, he had President Moon in Washington, you know, just a little over a month or so ago. I was in the East Wing of the White House with them as they were having a press conference and their dialogue certainly has warmed us since then.
But again, I think it is important to not get too far ahead of ourselves here because this is an unpredictable president who could be provoke or say anything at any point. But it's clear to me at least, it seems to me he's listening to a lot of his advisors by, you know, using the diplomatic route here as the improbable option with North Korea and certainly with sanctions of course.
That is what he hopes he leaves here with more sanctions and a renewed commitment. But again, an entirely different story as he moves along to Beijing later this week.
VAUSE: And of course when that happens we will bring it to you live.
In the meantime, though, there is more news to report on the second mass shooting in the United States. A little more than a month and it seems the shooter's violent background should have been enough to stop him purchasing the Ruger semiautomatic rifle he used to kill 26 people at church services in a small Texas town.
Devin Kelley was convicted of assaulting his wife and stepson about five years ago, but the U.S. Air Force where he was serving failed to enter that conviction into a national criminal database. The Holcombes were among his victims. Eight family members across three generations all lost.
Bryan Holcombe a guest pastor that Sunday and his wife, his son Danny, his 17-month old daughter Noah, that pregnant daughter-in-law Crystal also are dead. So to three of her five children, Emily, Megan and has Evelyn. As for the churches' regular pastor he was out of town with his wife but it was Sunday morning and his 14-year-old daughter went to church anyway. She too is shot dead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[03:15:03] SHERRY POMEROY, ANNABELLE POMEROY'S MOTHER: We lost more than Annabelle yesterday, and one thing that gives me a sliver of encouragement is the fact that Belle was surrounded yesterday by her church family that she loved fiercely and vice versa.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: OK. Let's go back our Anna Coren in Seoul, South Korea. Anna?
COREN: Thank you, John. Well, we are now going to rejoin our guest Kim Sung-han, he is a former vice Foreign Minister of South Korea knows the story better than most. Tell me this bilateral that's been taking place. What can we expect to hear from President and President Moon.
SUNG-HAN: I think more firm message about North Korean issues. In other words, President Trump has been saying maximum pressure against North Korea. I hope, you know, President Moon and President Trump are together share the same message. But we all know that this is not for the sake of, you know, bringing down, you know, collapsing North Korean regime. This is for the sake of bringing North Korea back to the negotiating table. So this kind of message of dialogue should be included.
COREN: And you think that North Korea can be brought back to the negotiating table by sanctions, by more pressure, you really think that's achievable.
SUNG-HAN: If our pressure is quite enough with the cooperation from China particularly, so that is one of the reasons why is President Trump is visiting China to maximize our pressure.
COREN: Why hasn't the pressure being applied more harshly in the past. Why is it taken until now 2017 for the sanctions to be as tough as what they are?
SUNG-HAN: One of the reasons was that we had tend to underestimate North Korea's nuclear capability at some points North Korea will give up and try to trade their nuclear programs with some economic benefits. Later on we found they are having strong determination to be recognized as the nuclear weapon state.
So that's why we have become kind of a late comer in, you know, agreeing on really tough sanctions.
COREN: And how would you describe North Korea's nuclear capability as it stands right now?
SUNG-HAN: As you know, North Korea has already deployed almost a 1,000, you know, short range ballistic missiles and they are in the process of developing deep range and as well as intercontinental ballistic missile capability. So I think North Korea is reaching the final destination, which means they want to show they are able to hit the main land of the United States with the nuclear ICBM.
I think that that is kind of virtual red line. That is one of the reasons why we have to prevent North Korea from reaching that kind of point.
COREN: Or is it -- or is it a matter of the world just has to face the fact that North Korea will one day be a nuclear power.
SUNG-HAN: In that sense I'm a little bit pessimistic because even though we are making almost effort to bring North Korea back in the negotiating table, but North Korea if I quantify in 85 percent or 90 percent, you know, in terms of their, you know, grand design to be recognize as nuclear weapon state.
Nevertheless, we have to our almost efforts to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table rather than just, you know, recognizing North Korea as a nuclear weapon state. Another Pakistan or another India, that is going to be a disastrous scenario.
COREN: We certainly that Donald Trump has said that that is not just acceptable.
SUNG-HAN: That's right.
COREN: It will not happen while he is president.
SUNG-HAN: It means sanctions will continue even after North Korea declares or they have become a nuclear weapons state. That is not end of the game. Nevertheless, our pressure will continue and, you know, our pursuit of denuclearization will continue. So I agree with that, yes. [03:19:55] COREN: You know, it's interesting talking to because there are so many South Koreans who are concerned with the current climate and that South Korea they feel is being dragged to the brink of war.
But you seem to be more positive about the future and as I glance to the screen we can see President at Trump and his wife, as well as President Moon Jae-in there heading to no doubt the lecterns to hold that joins media conference. So I think Kim Sung-han great to have you with us, great that you have shared your insight with us.
COREN: Considering that you are part of the Korean government, but as we can see President Trump and President Moon walking into address the press address the political dignitaries and taking to the lectern. Why don't we now tune in to listen to the joint press conference?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): First of all, President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea will deliver a speech followed by President Trump.
Please allow me to invite President Moon Jae-in to the stage.
MOON JAE-IN, PRESIDENT OF SOUTH KOREA (through translator): I extend my heartfelt welcome to the visit by Your Excellency President Donald Trump and Madam First Lady to the Republic of Korea.
His visit marks the first state visit by the U.S. president to Korea in 25 years and President Trump is also the first state guest for myself and my government. This special bond forged between President Trump and I myself I find it very meaningful and I'm gratified to be part of it.
President Trump that I met and communicated with each other numerous times is building deep trust and consolidating our friendship. Today we had candid discussions about (Inaudible) of both U.S. alliances.
Moreover, we agreed to work toward resolving North Korean nuclear issue in a peaceful manner and bringing permanent peace to the Korean peninsula. Again, escalating nuclear and missile threats from North Korea we reaffirm our principle that we must maintain strong stands toward North Korean threats.
Base on overwhelming superiority of power President Trump has reaffirmed his ironclad commitment to different Korea and President Trump and I agree to further strengthen the d robust combined defensive posture about two countries.
In this regard President Trump and I agreed to expand rotational deployment of U.S. strategic asset in and around Korean Peninsula.
We will step up our collaboration to enhance Korea's self-defesne capability to unprecedented levels. To this end, we reached a conclusion today to lift the pay load limit on Korean missiles completely. It was the final agreement.
We also agreed to begin consultation for Korea's acquisitions and development of Korea's state of art military reconnaissance asset. Once again, we strongly urged North Korea to halt its nuclear and missile provocation and to come to dialogue table for nuclearization as soon as possible.
President Trump and I reaffirmed our current strategy which is to maximize pressure and sanctions on North Korea until it gives up nuclear weapons and to come to the table for dialogue on its own.
At the same time, should North Korea choose to make the right choice we also reaffirmed our view that we are willing to offer North Korea a bright future based on such common approach between our two countries. We will continue to lead efforts to bring peaceful and fundamental solutions to North Korean nuclear issues.
We will maintain close collaboration with international community including the neighboring countries as since that President Trump visited this time will be a turning point for the situation on the Korean peninsula in a stable manner.
Today, President Trump and I visited Pyeongtaek base which is a symbolic venue for when the future of rock U.S. alliance and also Korea's contribution to the alliance.
[03:24:56] As we gave ours of words engagement to Korean and American servicemembers who was striving to realize our common goal we could feel the strong friendship of Korea and U.S. alliance on the sense.
President Trump and I also agreed to continue strengthening of the combined defense postures and capabilities of the bilateral alliance that pursuing defense cost sharing and an adequate (Inaudible) level.
Last but not least we reaffirm that economic cooperation is important pillar of rock U.S. alliance. We should review that economic cooperation is a critical element in our efforts to pursue sustainable and future oriented rock U.S. alliance.
And to enjoy the benefit of free equitable and balanced trade together we agreed to have the relevant authorities expedite the process of Korea's FDA consultation. By sharing the universal value and add the fruits of economic prosperity with humankind, President Trump and I agreed to make joint contribution to the peace and prosperity of the word.
We also agreed to continue strengthening cooperation for global challenges including issues of terrorism, women, human rights and public health. President Trump requested that I need to talk with him continuously and we agreed that we will continuously have a frequent and close communications and by doing that with further strengthen the trust and ties between us and also solidify the bilateral alliance.
Once again I extend warm welcome to President and Madam First Lady visit to Korea. Please enjoy the beautiful autumn weather and fine deepening of friendship in our two countries as well as our two leaders. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): That you very much. That was an opening statement by President Moon Jae-in which will be followed by President Donald Trump.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you very much President Moon. Thank you for honoring us with the invitation to be here today and for the incredibly warm welcome and magnificent ceremony you have given us during our first trip to the very beautiful city of Seoul. Thank you very much.
Melania and I had a wonderful time having tea with you and First Lady Kim. Thank you at the beautiful Blue House which I've heard so much and I'll get to visit and see firsthand.
We're looking forward to joining you for dinner this evening and we have much to discuss.
Today, the president and I had an opportunity to talk about a range of vital economic and security matters including our trade relationship and our joint efforts to solve North Korea's grave nuclear threat to South Korea and indeed the entire world. This is a worldwide problem.
The Republic of Korea is more than a long-standing ally of the United States. We are partners and friends who have fought side-by-side in a war and really worked very hard and prosper for a great and lasting peace.
I feel confident that we'll be able to reach a free, fair, and reciprocal trade deal as we renegotiate our current five-year-old trade document.
We cannot allow North Korea to threaten all that we have built and we built it very much together and we're very, very proud of it. Also, together, but all that we built in the decades since our soldiers sacrifice side-by-side in the struggle for freedom, our alliance is more important than ever to peace and security on the Korean peninsula and across the Indo-Pacific region.
That is why Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Tillerson who is with us today, and Secretary of Defense Mattis who was here just a short time ago have all traveled to Seoul in the first year of my administration which is very important to me that they did.
North Korea's sixth test of a nuclear device and its missile launches are a threat not only to the people of South Korea, but to the people all across our globe. We will together confront North Korea's actions and prevent the North Korean dictator from threatening millions of innocent lives.
He is indeed threatening millions and millions of lives so needlessly. North Korea is a worldwide threat that requires worldwide action.
[03:29:54] We call on every responsible nation, including China and Russia to demand that the North Korean regime and its nuclear weapons and its missile programs and live in peace as the South Korean people know so well it's time to act with urgency and with great determination.
All nations must implement U.N. Security Council regulations and seize trade and business entirely with North Korea. It is unacceptable that nations would help to warm and finance this increasingly dangerous regime.
As we work together to resolve this problem using all available tools short of military action, the United States stands prepared to defend itself and its allies using the full range of our unmatched military capabilities if need be.
The crucial U.S. security partnership with South Korean is just one aspect of our enduring alliance. We also shared deep partnerships on a range of issues from cultural exchange to cutting-edge advances in science and medicine, and the very important issue of trade.
Currently we're looking at ways of improving our economic relationship. I would like to thank President Moon for instructing his trade negotiators to work closely with us to quickly pursue a much better deal.
A deal that frankly has been quite unsuccessful and not very good for the United States. In the more than six decades, since we signed our mutual defense treaty, our lives is grown stronger and deeper.
Our two nations symbolize what independent countries can accomplish when they serve the interests of their people, respect the sovereignty of their neighbors and uphold the rule of law.
Imagine the amazing possibilities for Korean Peninsula liberated from the threat of nuclear weapons where all Koreans could enjoy the blessings of liberty and the prosperity that you have achieved right here in South Korea.
I also want to congratulate President Moon and the South Korean people on hosting the Winter Olympics this upcoming February. It will be a truly spectacular event. Mr. President, I want to thank you, First Lady Kim and I mean it was just so special today.
The ceremony was so beautiful. We very much thank you for it. Together our two nations will handle threats to peace and security, stand up to those who would threaten our freedom and boldly sees the incredible opportunities for a better brighter and more prosperous tomorrow.
In good times and bad, in moments of great hardship and great success are two nations can always count on the close bonds and deep friendship we share as free, proud and independent people. Mr. President, I look forward to the rest of our visit together and I send the wonderful citizens of South Korea the best wishes from the people of the United States of America. Thank you very much.
MOON JAE-IN, PRESIDENT OF SOUTH KOREA (through a translator): Thank you very much. We have just heard from President Trump, and now would like to invite the questions from the members of the media corps.
So we would like to now ask the White House correspondents from the U.S. side to ask questions, and President Trump will respond. And then from the White -- Blue House, there will be Q and A.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The first question from the United States will go to Margaret Brennan from CBS.
MARGARET BRENNAN, CORRESPONDENT, CBS: Thank you, sir. Mr. President...
TRUMP: Which one?
BRENNAN: President Trump -- I will have questions from both of you gentlemen. But, President Trump, you spoke here in South Korea saying that you do believe that the crisis with North Korea will be worked out. So, specifically, have you seen any success in your diplomatic strategy so far? And do you still believe that direct talks are a waste of time?
TRUMP: Well, I think you know me well enough to know that I don't like talking about whether I see success or not in a case such as this. We like to play our cards a little bit close to the vest.
I will say this -- that I believe it makes sense for North Korea to do the right thing, not only for North Korea, but for humanity all over the world. So there is a lot of reason, a lot of good reason behind it.
[03:35:00] With that, yes, I think we're making a lot of progress. I think we're showing great strength. I think they understand we have unparalleled strength. There has never been strength like it.
You know we sent three of the largest aircraft carriers in the world, and they're right now positioned. We have a nuclear submarine also positioned. We have many things happening that we hope -- in fact, I'll go a step further, we hope to God we never have to use.
With that being said, I really believe that it makes sense for North Korea to come to the table and to make a deal that's good for the people of North Korea and the people of the world. I do see certain movement, yes. But let's see what happens.
BRENNAN: And on direct talks, sir?
TRUMP: I don't want to say that.
TRUMP: I just don't want to say that. You can understand that.
BRENNAN: I do, sir. And, President Moon, you, in your meeting earlier with President Trump, were spoken about by President Trump when he gestured to the military purchases that your country will be making.
And I'm wondering, as you look towards that military build-up, if that signals something, perhaps a change in your view -- where you believe a more aggressive stance towards North Korea is more appropriate.
JAE-IN (through a translator): If I could have the question repeated again. Are you referring to the acquisition of the military assets or are you referring to the military tensions that could be incurred?
BRENNAN: President Trump said you would be making military purchases of military equipment. What does that signal and is it a change?
JAE-IN (through a translator): I'm not entirely sure which direction your question was, but I can say one thing, when it comes to the state of our reconnaissance assets and the strategy assets -- on acquisition of this U.S. strategy assets, we have agreed to begin the consultations for Korea's acquisition of such assets.
And that is to enhance Korea's defense capabilities and also the combined defense posture of Korea and the United States. I think it is essential.
TRUMP: Margaret, if I may add to that, that the President and I have agreed they'll be buying a tremendous -- which they want, and which they need, and everybody thinks it makes a lot of sense.
We make the greatest military equipment in the world, whether it's planes, whether it's missiles. No matter what it is, we have the greatest military equipment in the world.
And South Korea will be ordering billions of dollars of that equipment, which, frankly, for them makes a lot of sense. And for us, it means jobs, it means reducing our trade deficit with South Korea. But they'll be ordering billions of dollars' worth of equipment, and we've already approved some of those orders, OK? Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (though a translator): I have a question raised for President Moon, from the Korean reporters, please raise your hand. Yes, Mr. (Inaudible) of daily newspaper. Please go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (though a translator): My name is (Inaudible), daily newspaper. I have a question for President Moon. Between Korea and the United States, I think one of the most important diplomacy challenges to pretty overcome, resolve the nuclear problem of the DPRK.
And you gave a foreign press interview -- you talked about bringing balance and diplomacy, and you talked about resolving nuclear problem, and the close cooperation between Korea and the United States, and you talked about China's role.
Are you referring to the balance between the U.S. -- balance of Korea between U.S. and China, or are you referring to something else? And you have had a third summit meeting at the summit meeting you just had. You said that you have agreed to bring permanent peace to so much on
the Korean Peninsula. And what kind of role are you expecting the United States and President Trump to play with regards to settling peace on the Korean Peninsula?
JAE-IN (through a translator): So on bringing balance in our diplomatic approaches, this is not about our stance vis-a-vis the United States and China.
We are trying to bring a solution to the nuclear problem -- DPRK nuclear problem and to bring permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. And, moreover, we would like to promote peace, stability and prosperity of the Northeast Asian region.
[03:40:00] So we would like to expand our diplomatic efforts in this regard. And that should include our efforts for China as well as ASEAN and Russia, and the E.U.
I believe that we should diversify efforts -- diplomatic efforts, so that we can pursue a more balanced approach. So that was the intention of making such comment.
And to establish permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula and to overcome -- resolve the nuclear problem, I think there's role to be played by the United States and China.
And when it comes to the United States, a very strong sanctions and pressure is being put by the United States. The U.S. is leading efforts, and I am very sure that substantive results will be realized through such efforts.
And China has also faithfully implemented the U.N. resolution to impose sanctions on DPRK. So we have heightened the pressure and sanctions on DPRK, and I think this will also contribute to resolving the nuclear problem.
And if our international society's efforts bear fruits -- society's efforts bear fruits and if we can really make a turnaround, then I'm sure that we will be able to bring North Korea to the table of dialogue.
And through such dialogue, I am very confident that we can freeze a nuclear program and ultimately dismantle the weapons of the DPRK entirely. And in this, I believe that cooperation from the U.S. and China is essential.
And on establishing a permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, I don't think it's the right timing that we talk about this issue. Now we should focus on bringing an end to the DPRK provocations, and bringing DPRK to the table for dialogue.
This is a pending challenge we must address now. So we must focus on sanctions and pressure. And there is a time -- the time finally comes that we should certainly make efforts to further consult each other, both Korea and the U.S., for settling peace on the Korean Peninsula. TRUMP: I want to just say that President Xi was -- we will be tomorrow, China -- has been very helpful. We'll find out how helpful soon. But he really has been very, very helpful. So China is out trying very hard to solve the problem with North Korea.
We hope that Russia, likewise, will be helpful. We also hope that other countries -- and we know for a fact that other countries have already started. And we've had great dialogue with many other countries, as you know, and they're really helping a lot.
So if we get China, if we get Russia and we have some other countries, but we want to get most of them, we think that things will happen, and they could happen very quickly.
This is a problem, by the way, that should have been done over the last 25 years, not now. This is not the right time to be doing it, but that's what I got. That's what I got. This is a problem that should have been taken care of a long time ago. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you. The United States' second and final question will go to Ali Vitali from NBC.
ALI VITALI, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, NBC NEWS: Thank you, Mr. President. You've talked about wanting to put extreme vetting on people trying to come into the United States, but I wonder if you would consider extreme vetting for people trying to buy a gun.
TRUMP: Trying to what?
VITALI: Buy a gun.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, you know, you're bringing up a situation that probably shouldn't be discussed too much right now. We could let a little time go by, but it's OK. If you feel that that's an appropriate question, even though we're in the heart of South Korea, I will certainly answer your question.
If you did what you're suggesting, there would have been no difference three days ago, and you might not have had that very brave person who happened to have a gun or a rifle in his truck go out and shoot him, and hit him and neutralize him.
And I can only say this, if he didn't have a gun, instead of having 26 dead, you would have had hundreds more dead. So that's the way I feel about it. Not going to help.
VITALI: And are you considering any kind of gun control policy going forward because...
TRUMP: I mean, you look at the city with the strongest gun laws in our nation, is Chicago, and Chicago is a disaster. It's a total disaster. Just remember, if this man didn't have a gun or rifle, you'd be talking about a much worse situation in the great state of Texas. Thank you.
VITALI: Thank you. UNIDENTIFIED MALE (though a translator): The last question will be from the Korean Media. (Inaudible)
[03:45:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE (though a translator): I have a question for President Trump. Today you visited Pyeongtaek military base as you first stop, and we have allocated 9 trillion won for the building of the military base.
And there's been a bit of conflict, confrontations with the residents of Pyeongtaek over the construction of the Pyeongtaek base. So, to Koreans, a lot of taxpayers' money has been put into build the Pyeongtaek base and a lot of sacrifices have been made to build that base.
So you visited the Pyeongtaek base today and many people talked about free riding of Korea against security of the United States. So what are your feelings about such talks as you visited the Pyeongtaek base?
And another question I have is that people have concerns about Korea passing, although a lot of that has gone away. People are still concerned that Korea may be neglected in diplomacy. So what are your views on the Korea passing? Can you just say for sure, for certain, that Korea passing no longer exists for the Korean people?
TRUMP: I'll start off with your second. South Korea, Republic of Korea, Korea, is very important to me. And there will be no skipping South Korea, I can tell you that right now.
Plus, I've developed great friendships, not only with the president but with others, and we're not going to let them down and they're not going to let us down because we're doing a lot for them, to be honest. We're doing a lot for them.
As far as the base is concerned, I thought that Humphreys was an incredible military installation. I know what it costs, and it's a lot of money.
We actually spent some of that money, and, as you know, that money was spent, for the most part, to protect South Korea, not to protect the United States. But some of that money was spent by us. That being said, that was long before my time, and I'm sure I could have built it for a lot less.
TRUMP: That's what I do. Thank you.
JAE-IN (through a translator): If you don't mind, I'd like to make some supplementary remarks. Today, President Trump visited Pyeongtaek military base, and his visit shows -- through his visit, we were able to show that Korea is making significant contributions -- huge contributions to the KORUS alliance.
I hope that that has been felt by President Trump. And at the expanded summit talks, he has expressed his appreciation for the construction of the splendid base. And at the Pyeongtaek base, with the Eighth Army Commander, as well as
the USFK Commander, we had a briefing by the commanders and there was a strong emphasis on their part as well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (though a translator): And with that sentiment, I would like to now conclude the press conference of President Trump and President Moon Jae-in. I would like to extend our appreciation to the members of the diplomatic core for being here. Thank you.
ANNA COREN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, that wraps up the Joint Press Conference held by President Donald Trump and President Moon Jae-in. As you heard, both leaders reaffirming their commitment to their long- standing alliance which weighed in the two countries, also the United States honoring its commitment to protect all its allies in the region against North Korea.
But it was certainly a different language from President Trump and what we have heard, fire and fury, that was gone. It was a bout diplomacy applying pressure and hope being that North Korea will come to the negotiating table.
He said that the United States will use its military power if it has to. But certainly, it was opting for diplomacy which as we know, a changing theme for the U.S. president, the other thing that he did mention when our reporter was about the tragedy in Texas and that the killing of 26 people -- he was asked if gun owners should be vetted and he would be dragged into that discussion.
[03:50:00] Than to say of the hero in that situation didn't have a gun, more than 26 people would have been dead, there would have been hundreds.
So these are two of the major issues that came out of this press conference, North Korea and his comments on control. But for now, I want to Moscow guest Kim Sung-han, the former Foreign Minister to join us once again on his take of that press conference. Tell me, what did you make of the comments from Donald Trump and President Moon?
KIM SUNG-HAN, FORMER SOUTH KOREAN FOREIGN MINISTER: As expected, they show kind of unanimous agreement on the importance about how to deal with the North Korean threats. It's quite interestingly, President Moon with on the role of the United States imposing a lot of pressure on North Korea for the sake of bringing North Korea back to the negotiating table.
So in that sense, they had agreed on the maximum pressure and engagement, not the other way around. That's one thing. And also, President Moon and President Trump agreed on the strong ties between the United States and ROK, you know, who fought together during the Korean war which means that we have got alliance.
And finally, President Trump emphasize the word, free, fair and reciprocal FTA, Free Trade Agreement with United States and ROK. It's hinting at a very tough negotiations in the near future.
COREN: And President Trump also may have mention the billion of dollars South Korea plans on spending on U.S. military hardware. I guess that should come as no surprise.
SUNG-HAN: That's right. You know, as long as North Korean threat continues, South Korea is in the position of procuring a lot of high- tech weapon systems to balance off North Korea's, you know, threats.
But you know, North Korea's threat is not -- convectional threat is a nuclear threat. So in that sense, I think the we -- we need to talk more about how to deter North Korea's nuclear capability solely with manage the weapon or a combined kind of, you know, deterrence capability that is another topic we have to continue.
COREN: It is interesting that President Trump made mention of the three aircraft carriers and the nuclear submarine in the waters off the Korean Peninsula, that he wasn't opting for military action.
If anything he wants, diplomacy. He wants North Korea to come to the negotiating table. Did you -- since the things are shifting, things have change to him because he is here in South Korea?
SUNG-HAN: I don't know but during that press conference, he -- in my assessment, he was a little bit (Inaudible) towards kind of a management rather than kind of a course of actions, right? So he said, we do see some developments, which is hinting at possible dialogue, you know.
COREN: That there's negotiating happening the saying.
SUNG-HAN: Right. So in that sense, I think he appeared to pretty calm and also, he praised the role of China. China is doing a lot of you know, corporate of things. So I think some combination of hard work could -- you know, could use some, you know, positive research in the immediate future.
COREN: OK. Mr. Sung-han, we certainly appreciate you, hanging around for these past few hours and offering your insight and perspective. Many thanks for joining us.
And as you heard it there, President Trump and President Moon addressing the media, addressing (Inaudible), we've got North Korea obviously at the top of that agenda. Stay with CNN, much more coming up after the break.
[03:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
COREN: Welcome back. Just months ago, President Donald Trump wrapped up his news conference with South Korea's President Moon Jae-in, so far the issue of North Korea has dominated much of Mr. Trump's discussions with regional leaders on his Asian tour but what does North Korea's regime think about this trip? Well, CNN's Will Ripley is the only U.S. network reporter in Pyongyang and gives us an exclusive look.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, U.S. president Donald Trump on the ground in Seoul South Korea some 120 miles from where I'm standing here in the North Korean capital, mistakes have never been higher.
The last time sitting U.S. president visited South Korea, it was 25 years ago and back then, North Korea didn't have a viable nuclear arsenal but didn't have the advanced missile program that they have today.
And based on discussions I've been having here in Pyongyang with North Korean officials, they feel they are very close to perfecting the final stages of their intercontinental ballistic missile program.
The kind of missile that they safely deliver a nuclear warhead anywhere in the mainland United States to prove to the United States that they have that ability, the North Korean say they need to conduct just a few more tests of long-range missile launch and another seventh nuclear test.
The timing of that really anyone's guess, you know it's been more than seven weeks since North Korea has conducted a major military demonstration and this period of quiet has been punctuated by very strong rhetoric back and forth.
Well, from the United States side and the North Korean side. The North Koreans repeatedly saying that they don't feel they can talk with the Trump administration that they have to send a clear message to President Trump who is now on the ground a very short distance from here in North Korea.
And the North Koreans are watching and listening very carefully. They say that his rhetoric has already pushed the situation to the brink of war and expression.
We have heard before, they called it foul mouth rhetoric backed up with actions, they say with U.S. naval drills set to kick off in the coming days involving three U.S. aircraft carrier strike groups in the Pacific.
Those strike groups consisting of often 10 or more ships in each lobbyist, a large show of military strength on the U.S. side. The North Koreans say they are ready to match that show of force with their own. The big question, when and what? Will Ripley, CNN, Pyongyang, North Korea.
COREN: Well, I'm Anna Coren, live in Seoul, South Korea. Thanks so much for your company. Isa Soares will continue our live coverage from London after this short break. You are watching CNN.