President Trump is in Asia this week delivering a message of strength and resolve. Tuesday, he addressed South Korea’s National Assembly in Seoul and, frankly, it was music to my ears. Donald Trump sounded very much like Ronald Reagan.
The message is peace through strength. Just as Ronald Reagan confidently told audiences peace through strength would keep America and other countries safe from the threats of the Soviet Union, Trump said the same of the threats America currently faces from North Korea. After Assembly Speaker Chung introduced Trump as the Leader of the World, which was surprising to hear, Trump described the history of America and South Korea, including the blood and treasure lost from both countries in the Korean War. As this text of the speech reads,
This alliance between our nations was forged in the crucible of war, and strengthened by the trials of history. From the Inchon landings to Pork Chop Hill, American and South Korean soldiers have fought together, sacrificed together, and triumphed together.
He went on to state that the United States is helping South Korea and expects the country will continue to be a strong ally.
Currently stationed in the vicinity of this peninsula are the three largest aircraft carriers in the world loaded to the maximum with magnificent F-35 and F-18 fighter jets. In addition, we have nuclear submarines appropriately positioned. The United States, under my administration, is completely rebuilding its military and is spending hundreds of billions of dollars to the newest and finest military equipment anywhere in the world being built, right now. I want peace through strength.
He spoke of the Korean miracle – the strong economic development the country has seen in the last two generations, with America’s help. Trump continued on with a comparison of the stark difference between North and South Korea.
And so, on this peninsula, we have watched the results of a tragic experiment in a laboratory of history. It is a tale of one people, but two Koreas. One Korea in which the people took control of their lives and their country, and chose a future of freedom and justice, of civilization, and incredible achievement. And another Korea in which leaders imprison their people under the banner of tyranny, fascism, and oppression. The results of this experiment are in, and they are totally conclusive.
Then it was time to lower the hammer. Trump said the era of bowing to North Korea’s demands for money in exchange for that country’s promises of not pursuing nuclear weapons is over. The United States will no longer be blackmailed by a brutal tyrant who has no intention of following through on promises made. Continued threats and aggression will be answered.
America does not seek conflict or confrontation, but we will never run from it. History is filled with discarded regimes that have foolishly tested America’s resolve.
Anyone who doubts the strength or determination of the United States should look to our past, and you will doubt it no longer. We will not permit America or our allies to be blackmailed or attacked. We will not allow American cities to be threatened with destruction. We will not be intimidated. And we will not let the worst atrocities in history be repeated here, on this ground, we fought and died so hard to secure.
The speech was widely applauded across the political spectrum. He clearly stated that while America doesn’t want another war, we will be prepared and ready to respond, if necessary. How refreshing is that? Finally, we have some leadership willing to devote the resources needed to build up the military after the eight long years of Obama.
He warned North Korea directly, too.
I also have come here to this peninsula to deliver a message directly to the leader of the North Korean dictatorship: The weapons you are acquiring are not making you safer. They are putting your regime in grave danger. Every step you take down this dark path increases the peril you face.
This president meets foreign leaders as an equal. Trump didn’t bow to the Emperor of Japan. He doesn’t apologize for America’s history in other countries. As the tensions escalate between North Korea and America, it is good to know we have a president who will not settle for drawing red lines only to ignore them when those lines are crossed.