- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 21, 2017

President Trump couldn’t agree more with South Korea’s president Thursday when he called North Korea’s militaristic behavior “extremely deplorable.”

“I’m very happy that you used the word ‘deplorable,’” Mr. Trump told President Moon Jae-in, eliciting laughter at the reminder of Hillary Clinton’s infamous use of the word during last year’s presidential campaign.

Mr. Trump went on, “I promise, I did not tell them to use that word. That’s been very lucky word for me and many millions of people.”

During the presidential campaign, of course, Mrs. Clinton referred to half of Mr. Trump’s supporters as a “basket of deplorables.” Mr. Trump viewed it as one of her biggest blunders of the campaign.

The political reference aside, Mr. Trump and Mr. Moon were meeting to discuss North Korea’s missile launches and nuclear tests as the U.S. prepares for more sanctions against Pyongyang.

“Our real focus will be on the military and our relationship with South Korea, which is excellent,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Moon made a plea at the U.N. earlier Thursday to lower tensions with North Korea, warning of accidental war from the same podium where Mr. Trump said Tuesday that the U.S. would “totally destroy” North Korea if attacked.

“We should manage the North Korea nuclear crisis in a stable manner so that tensions are not escalated too much or peace is not destroyed by accidental military clashes,” Mr. Moon told the U.N. General Assembly.

He also demanded that North Korea “stop its reckless choice” of pursuing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

Mr. Trump told reporters Thursday that the U.S. will be hitting North Korea with more sanctions. Mr. Moon praised the president’s speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday as “very strong.”

“I believe the strength of your speech will help to change North Korea,” he said. “North Korea has continued to make provocations, and this is extremely deplorable and this has angered both me and our people, but the U.S. has responded firmly and in a very good way. Because of this, I also believe we have very close coordination between Korea and the U.S., and because of this, I am very satisfied.”

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