TOKYO -- US President Donald Trump called North Korea's nuclear program a "threat" to the world Monday, reiterating that the "era of strategic patience is over."
Trump was speaking to reporters in a joint press conference in Tokyo after his summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He is on his first Asian trip and will also visit South Korea and China later on.
"The era of strategic patience is over," Trump said referring to former President Barack Obama's policy stance under which he refused to hold negotiations while increasing sanctions until the North showed good faith.
|North Korea leader Kim Jong-un(left) and US President Donald Trump. (Yonhap)|
Since its inauguration in January, the Trump administration has declared that strategic patience is over.
Trump also said the North's nuclear program is a "threat to the civilized world and international peace and stability."
Abe supported Trump's policy of leaving all options on the table in dealing with the North, emphasizing that it is time to maximize pressure on North Korea to force it to abandon its nuclear and missile programs.
Abe also announced that Japan will freeze assets of 35 North Korean individuals and groups as part of its latest unilateral sanctions on the recalcitrant regime.
The Trump-Abe summit comes as pressure on the North is mounting.
On his way to Tokyo, Trump said that the US is considering relisting the North as a state sponsor of terrorism and that it will soon make the decision.
Earlier in the day, the Seoul government announced its latest unilateral sanctions on the North under which it blacklisted 18 North Korean bankers suspected of supplying money from abroad to its regime's efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction.
Trump is to arrive in Seoul on Tuesday for a two-day stay during which he plans to hold a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. North Korea and its evolving nuclear threat will be high on the agenda during their talks. (Yonhap)