LISTEN NOW! (Or WATCH FULL PROGRAM!) As the President continues his 5 Country Tour in Asia, he delivers a riveting and resounding speech to the National Assembly in Seoul, Republic of Korea. As the President expresses the many accolades and achievements of the South Korean people, he also unmistakably speaks with clarity and seriousness regarding the actions of North Korea. Without a doubt, the President effectively uses this opportunity to demonstrate that this Administration is clearly NOT like any past Administration.
In the President’s beginning remarks, he highlights the long history between South Korea and the United States and how their militaries have fought side by side against the forces of Communism. “Driven back at times, they willed their way north to form the line that today divides the oppressed and the free. And there, American and South Korean troops have remained together holding that line for nearly seven decades.” In the coming years after the wars in Korea, South Korea rebounded rapidly. “Family by family, city by city, the people of South Korea built this country into what is today one of the great nations of the world. And I congratulate you. In less than one lifetime, South Korea climbed from total devastation to among the wealthiest nations on Earth.” It is nothing slight of a miracle that this has taken place.
As the President shares the hope and celebration of the growing economy in America, he points out the achievements of low unemployment, growing Stock Market and victories of ISIS. He highlights the growing U.S. Military, its presence in the region and his take on defense; “I want peace through strength”. Simply positioning military is not the only answer, the President understands that the relationship between our two nations is paramount. “I know that the Republic of Korea, which has become a tremendously successful nation, will be a faithful ally of the United States very long into the future.”
In this celebratory fervor, he understands that South Koreans have much to celebrate as well regarding their culture. “The proud, sovereign, and independent people of your nation demanded the right to govern themselves. You secured free parliamentary elections in 1988, the same year you hosted your first Olympics. Soon after, you elected your first civilian president in more than three decades.” The President continues, “And when the Republic you won faced financial crisis, you lined up by the millions to give your most prized possessions — your wedding rings, heirlooms, and gold “luck keys” — to restore the promise of a better future for your children.”
As the economy of South Korea has achieved milestone after milestone, the South Korean people have also been recognized throughout many different industries. ”You’ve pushed the boundaries of technology, pioneered miraculous medical treatments, and emerged as leaders in unlocking the mysteries of our universe. Korean authors penned roughly 40,000 books this year. Korean musicians fill concert halls all around the world. Young Korean students graduate from college at the highest rates of any country. And Korean golfers are some of the best on Earth.” There is success, achievement, and recognition all throughout South Korea. But, the further North one travels, an undeniable difference of reality is seen when looking at what has taken place within the borders of North Korea. As the President explains, “the flourishing ends, and the prison state of North Korea sadly begins.”
The President begins to detail, line by line, horrible atrocities that the North Korean people endure, forced upon them by the oppressive regime of their leadership. “Recently, the entire working population was ordered to work for 70 days straight, or else pay for a day of rest.” The regime continues to neglect the desperate needs of their people while continuing to fund their own twisted regime. ”More than a million North Koreans died of famine in the 1990s, and more continue to die of hunger today. Among children under the age of five, nearly 30 percent of afflicted — and are afflicted by stunted growth due to malnutrition.” When we learn how the regime spent the money it did have, hearts will genuinely be saddened. The President explains, “in 2012 and 2013, the regime spent an estimated $200 million — or almost half the money that it allocated to improve living standards for its people — to instead build even more monuments, towers, and statues to glorify its dictators.”
The North Korean regime demands rigorous and absolute obedience by its people. Those who comply, live in the capital city of Pyongyang, while those who do not, suffer in the most decrepit conditions. How does the regime know who complies and who does not, based on their “citizen score”? “Far from valuing its people as equal citizens, this cruel dictatorship measures them, scores them, and ranks them based on the most arbitrary indications of their allegiance to the state.” As the President points out, the suffering experienced by the North Korean people cannot be understated. “An estimated 100,000 North Koreans suffer in gulags, toiling in forced labor, and enduring torture, starvation, rape, and murder on a constant basis.”
These realities are happening based on who agrees with the regime, and who does not. The topic of faith points to a whole new paradigm. “In the part of Korea that was a stronghold for Christianity before the war, Christians and other people of faith who are found praying or holding a religious book of any kind are now detained, tortured, and in many cases, even executed.” It is simply a totalitarian government. In response, President Trump asks this applicable question; “So why would China feel an obligation to help North Korea?”
While it is a crime for a North Korean citizen to attempt to leave North Korea, the methods that some are willing to take to escape life under this cruel regime is simple heart breaking. “The horror of life in North Korea is so complete that citizens pay bribes to government officials to have themselves exported aboard as slaves.” The President continues, “They would rather be slaves than live in North Korea. To attempt to flee is a crime punishable by death. One person who escaped remarked, ‘When I think about it now, I was not a human being. I was more like an animal. Only after leaving North Korea did I realize what life was supposed to be.’”
The stark difference between these two cultures within the borders of the Korean Peninsula is undeniable. “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 result of this experiment are in, and they are totally conclusive.” Could the differences of these two nations be any further apart?
While the culture of the South Koreans continues to soar, reaching new heights and achievements, the President explains how the regime of North Korea refuses to allow their citizens to travel to South Korea, or allow any South Korean or Western influence upon their culture. Because of the required allegiance to the dictatorship, citizens resort to spying upon one another. President Trump sums up life within North Korea in this quivering reality, “North Korea is a country ruled as a cult.” The President continues, “At the center of this military cult is a deranged belief in the leader’s destiny to rule as parent protector over a conquered Korean Peninsula and an enslaved Korean people.”
As the President continues to expose the unquestionably evil regime of North Korea, he begins to turn the attention to North Korea’s refusal to halt their nuclear tests, and America’s unwavering position on confronting Kim jung-Un. The President pointedly states and admonishes North Korea not to mistakenly assume the United State’s stance on the matter. “The regime has interpreted America’s past restraint as weakness. This would be a fatal miscalculation.” The President continues to emphasize the seriousness of his point. “This is a very different administration than the United States has had in the past.”
In the President’s closing remarks, he underscores the deep ties with South Korea, and the reminder that the strategies of yesterday toward North Korea are over. ”That is why I have come here, to the heart of a free and flourishing Korea, with a message for the peace-loving nations of the world: The time for excuses is over. Now is the time for strength. If you want peace, you must stand strong at all times.” The President understands that this is not simply a matter involving solely South Korea, or the United States and North Korea, but all nations. “All responsible nations must join forces to isolate the brutal regime of North Korea — to deny it and any form — any form of it. You cannot support, you cannot supply, you cannot accept.” With this in mind, President Trump invites North Korea’s closest neighbors to join in the fight to end this rebellious regime. ”We call on every nation, including China and Russia, to fully implement U.N. Security Council resolutions, downgrade diplomatic relations with the regime, and sever all ties of trade and technology. It is our responsibility and our duty to confront this danger together — because the longer we wait, the greater the danger grows, and the fewer the options become.”
These days are critical to understand the urgency and importance that war very easily can erupt in this region of the world. Considering the many allies that the United States has in this region, we could find ourselves in a nuclear conflict if North Korea we to engage in a conflict with our allies. We must remain prayerful for our President, for his safety and the entire Cabinet, as well as Godly wisdom to be upon him during these precarious times. See the full statements from President Trump during this iconic speech, and so much more. Also shared in this segment: President Donald Trump, The Trump Administration, The White House, President Trump’s 5 Country Asian Tour, Seoul South Korea, The Korean Peninsula, The Korean War, nuclear warfare, nuclear weapons, nuclear testing, The United Nations, Kim jung-Un, Pyongyang North Korea, persecution of Christians, persecution of the Church, hope, truth, trade deficits, trade relationships, 23rd Olympic Winter Games, the Republic of Korea, and leadership. John and Steve shared in this segment.
screen capture from youtube.com/The White House