US President Donald Trump on Wednesday issued a blunt warning to North Korean Korean leader Kim Jong, declaring during his first major speech in Asia that continued nuclear provocation could result in the communist nation’s obliteration. “The weapons you are acquiring are not making you safer, they are putting your regime in grave danger,” Trump said during an address at South Korea’s National Assembly here. “Every step you take down this dark path increases the peril you face.” In a bruising insult of the repressive regime founded by Kim Il-sung in the middle of last century and governed in his image ever since, Trump diminished the kingdom now ruled by his grandson, CNN reported. “North Korea is not the paradise your grandfather envisioned,” Trump said. “It is a hell that no person deserves.” Denouncing Pyongyang’s “cruel dictatorship” and nuclear adventurism, Trump warned it not to “underestimate” Washington’s strength. 

“This is a very different administration than the US has had in the past. Today I hope I speak not only for our countries, but for all civilized nations when I say to the North: Do not underestimate us. And do not try us.” Trump also reiterated his mantra of “peace through strength” and called on China, Russia and the world to join efforts to isolate the “brutal regime”, Yonhap news agency reported. “The regime has interpreted America’s past restraint as weakness. This would be a fatal miscalculation,” he said, speaking to 550 people, including South Korean lawmakers and foreign diplomats. “The world cannot tolerate the menace of a rogue regime that threatens with nuclear devastation. All responsible nations must join forces to isolate the brutal regime of North Korea, to deny it and any form, any form of it,” Trump said.  

The speech, the first by a US leader to the Korean Parliament in 24 years, was delivered one day after he held a summit with President Moon Jae-in. Trump also apparently held out the prospect of engagement with the North, though on strict conditions. “We will offer a path to a much better future. It begins with an end to the aggression of your regime, a stop to your development of ballistic missiles, and complete, verifiable and total denuclearization,” he said. Drawing a sharp contrast between the two Koreas, he used much of the speech to hail the achievements of South Korea. 

“This reality, this wonderful place, your success is the greatest cause of anxiety, alarm, and even panic to the North Korean regime. That is why the Kim regime seeks conflict abroad,” he noted. He cancelled a visit to the heavily fortified border that separates the two Koreas due to the bad weather. Trump arrived here on Tuesday as part of his five nation Asia visit. His next stop will be China, Vietnam and the Philippines.