Trump backs away from harsh rhetoric, says North Korea should 'come to the table' and 'make a deal'

Trump spoke out about tensions with North Korea during a visit to Seoul.

Trump backs away from harsh rhetoric, says North Korea should 'come to the table' and 'make a deal'
Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
ByABC News
November 7, 2017, 5:00 AM

SEOUL -- President Trump said he sees progress in the steps his administration has taken on North Korea, suggesting he could "make a deal" with the regime, but would not say whether he still believes direct talks are a waste of time.

"I really believe that it makes sense for North Korea to come to the table and to make a deal," the president said in a press conference with South Korean President Moon. "That's good for the people of North Korea and the people of the world," adding that he sees "certain movement" in his administration's approach when it comes to pressuring The hermit kingdom to back away from its nuclear program.

The president took a very different tone, departing from his aggressive rhetoric in the past.

"We will together confront North Korea's actions and prevent the North Korea dictator from threatening millions of lives," Trump said. "He's indeed threatening millions of lives so needlessly."

President Trump called on the international community -- including China and Russia -- to come together in an effort to pressure North Korea to back away from the nuclear brink, calling North Korea's nuclear ambitions a global threat that requires worldwide action.

Trump -- who said he told his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that any negotiations with Kim Jong Un are a waste of time, declined to say whether he still believed that. "I don't want to say that," the president said.

The president has previously said all options –- including diplomatic negotiations -- remain on the table with North Korea in hopes of avoiding military action. Trump in August warned that North Korea would be “met with fire and fury” if it threatens U.S. security.

The president did not rule out military action, but said he hoped the nuclear standoff with North Korea could be resolved through other channels.

"As we work together to resolve this problem using all available tools short of military action, the United States stands prepared to defend itself and its allies using the full range of our unmatched military capabilities if need be," Trump said.

While the issue of North Korea’s nuclear ambitions looms large over the entirety of the president’s tour of the region, the visit to Seoul will bring the president within the closest proximity to Pyongyang as he will come this trip.

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