President Donald Trump had choice words in his State of the Union address for North Korea, citing the “depraved character” of its government for its “reckless pursuit” of nuclear weapons.

But he did not propose new policies to confront North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, with whom he has at times engaged in name-calling.

“No regime has oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally than the cruel dictatorship in North Korea,” Trump said. “North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland.”

North Korea last year tested its most powerful nuclear device yet, and tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching U.S. shores.

He cited the tragic case of Otto Warmbier, an American college student who was imprisoned in Pyongyang but died days after he was returned home to Ohio in a coma. His parents were in the House chamber for the speech.

Trump also saluted a North Korean defector whose legs had to be amputated in his torturous escape to the south.

“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,” Trump said.

He said his administration is applying “maximum pressure,” military and diplomatic, in a so-far unsuccessful attempt to stop Kim from developing the capability to directly threaten the United States.


©2018 Los Angeles Times. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.