US Presidential Advisor for National Security H.R. McMaster said yesterday that Trump's administration is considering a broad range of counterattack strategies for North Korea, including the military option. "The threat is far more straightforward, and therefore it is clear that we can not repeat the same approach - unprecedented approach from the past," McMaster said at a security conference with Homeland Security chief John Kelly. He added that it would be foolish to do the same thing that the United States has been doing for years and expect a different result.

Sanctions are not enough

This dramatic statement from McMaster can be seen as a kind of overture to today's visit by Donald Trump to South Korea and a meeting with its president, Moon Jae-in.

A new South Korean president has rejected their earlier advocacy of a more gentle approach to his northern neighbor and promised to stand up to Kim Jong-un, along with Trump. Moon told the Washington Post that Kim was "unreasonable and very dangerous" and that pressure was needed, but added that sanctions are not enough and that dialogue should start "under the right conditions". "Together we will achieve the decommissioning of North Korea's nuclear program, peace on the Korean peninsula and, finally, peace in Southeast Asia," Moon commented optimistically. Moon and Trump are going to have a casual dinner today and formal meetings tomorrow.

The crisis regarding Kim Jong-un's regime will surely be the main topic of these meetings. Although China is pressuring the US to start negotiations with North Korea, Kim Jong-un's regime has shown no interest in negotiations over the suspension of its nuclear program, Fox News reports.

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This meeting comes at a time of Trump's his high frustration at Beijing's low economic pressure on North Korea.

Kim does not show interest in negotiations

Washington's frustration with North Korea only grew after the death of American student Otto Warmbier, who was arrested and sentenced to forced labor during his visit to this totalitarian country on the basis of bizarre allegations that he had stolen a propaganda poster. Although shortly after being detained under undeclared circumstances he fell into the coma, North Korea held him in captivity 17 months before returning him to the United States in a vegetative state. Warmbier died a week after that.

There are still three US and six South Korean nationals in the North Korean prisons. Trump and Moon will probably talk about the US counterattack system THAAD, whose posting in South Korea is postponed until the end of the environmental impact audit. Moon noted that this does not mean that his government had changed his mind about setting up THAAD system.

The United States has 28,000 soldiers on the territory of South Korea.