Seoul (CNN)President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he believes US-led international efforts to crank up the pressure on North Korea and his at-times menacing rhetoric are beginning to work.
But he has declined to reprise his inflammatory words of the past — invoking neither “fire and fury” or “rocket man” — so far during his time in the South Korean capital.
The US President did not offer any specific signs of progress, noting that his administration likes “to play our cards a little bit close to the vest.” But alongside South Korean President Moon Jae-in during a joint news conference, Trump said he believes the US-led coalition is “making a lot of progress.”
“Yes, I think we’re making a lot of progress. Yes, we’re showing great strength. I think they understand we have unparalleled strength. There has never been strength like it,” Trump said. “I do see certain movement, yes.”
The comments marked the first time Trump has signaled US efforts to counter the North Korean threat are yielding positive results. And while he did not signal the military option had left the table, Trump on Tuesday leaned more heavily into his hopes for a diplomatic solution rather than the issuance of threats of military action.