President Donald Trump credited his tough talk toward North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un last fall, in part, with bringing him to the negotiating table on Tuesday.
Fox News reported Trump and Kim signed a document stating that Pyongyang would work toward “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
In an interview with FNC’s Sean Hannity which will air Tuesday night, Trump said, “Well I think without the rhetoric we wouldn’t have been here. I really believe that.”
He continued, “You know, we did sanctions and all of the things you would do but I think without the rhetoric, you know, other administrations, I don’t want to get specific on that, but they had a policy of silence.”
“So I think the rhetoric, I hated to do it, sometimes I felt foolish doing it, but we had no choice,” the president stated.
Trump’s description of Kim as “little rocket man” is perhaps the most memorable phrases from the tough rhetoric he directed at the North Korean leader over the last year.
Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won't be around much longer!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2017
“Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime,” Trump told the U.N. General Assembly last September.
“The United States has great strength and patience,” the president said. “But if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”
Of Kim’s and other rogue regimes, Trump said, “They respect neither their own citizens, nor the sovereign rights of their countries. If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph.”
Kim responded by calling Trump a “dotard,” which means someone in “a state or period of senile decay marked by decline of mental poise and alertness,” according to Merriam-Webster.
Hannity compared Trump’s strong words and firm military posture toward North Korea with that employed by President Ronald Reagan against the Soviet Union in the 1980s.
“The president is now following the lead of a predecessor named Ronald Reagan. And just like President Donald J. Trump, Reagan deployed a policy, a philosophy of peace through strength, trust but verify, a very aggressive military posture.”
.@seanhannity: "The @POTUS is now following the lead of a predecessor named Ronald Reagan. And just like President @realDonaldTrump, Reagan deployed a policy, a philosophy of peace through strength, trust by verify, a very aggressive military posture." #Hannity pic.twitter.com/aKSEEpgxGL
— Fox News (@FoxNews) June 12, 2018
“And just like Trump, Reagan had very aggressive words for America’s biggest foe, the Soviet Union,” said Hannity.
“President Reagan talked about the ‘evil empire,'” he explained. “The world was shocked. The world was predicting that Reagan would start World War III or some type of nuclear holocaust.”
In a 1982 speech before the British Parliament, Reagan talked about “the march of freedom and democracy which will leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash-heap of history.”
Speaking to the National Association of Evangelicals the following year, he labeled the Soviet Union the “evil empire” and said that Soviet communism is “the focus of evil in the modern world.”
Reagan’s “Peace Through Strength” military strategy is credited with bringing about the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, the most significant nuclear arms reduction agreement in history.
Many also point to Reagan’s policies as precipitating the end of the Cold War, marked by the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
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