Donald Trump branded North Korea “depraved” in his State of the Union address on Tuesday.
The President told Congress: “We need only look at the depraved character of the North Korean regime to understand the nature of the nuclear threat it could pose to America and our allies.”
Mr Trump has been outspoken about North Korea throughout his presidency, engaging in an ongoing war of words with the regime via Twitter and dubbing Kim Jong-un ‘rocket man’ during a speech at the United Nations.
His maiden State of the Union address was attended by relatives of American university student Otto Warmbier, who was arrested while on a tour in North Korea in 2016.
Mr Trump said: “After a shameful trial, the dictatorship sentenced Otto to 15 years of hard labour, before returning him to America last June – horribly injured and on the verge of death. He passed away just days after his return.”
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He added: “Tonight, we pledge to honour Otto’s memory with American resolve.”
The speech was also attended by defector Ji Seong-ho, whose story Mr Trump told to highlight the brutality of the North Korean regime.
He described how as a “starving boy in North Korea” 22 years ago he had passed out on train tracks and lost his left leg and left hand when he was run over by a train, and was later tortured after a brief trip to China.
“Seong-ho traveled thousands of miles on crutches across China and Southeast Asia to freedom,” said Mr Trump.
“Most of his family followed. His father was caught trying to escape, and was tortured to death.
“Today he lives in Seoul, where he rescues other defectors, and broadcasts into North Korea what the regime fears the most – the truth.”
(Top picture: AP)