On November 7, 2017, South Korean President Moon Jae-in extended a “heartfelt welcome” towards US President Donald Trump as he arrived in South Korea for a two-day summit to reaffirm the Korea-US alliance. However, his stay did not pass without criticism. Labeling the US president a warmonger, the “No Trump Joint Action Task Force” organized rallies against his visit. Made up of 220 left-wing political parties, civic groups, labor unions and student groups, the association claimed his impulsive remarks towards North Korea heightened military tensions on the peninsula.
In Seoul, hundreds of protesters with raised banners and candles chanted, “No Trump, no war!” Though impassioned, their presence was dwarfed by the National Police Agency who ordered its entire force to maintain maximum readiness at protest zones close to the US Embassy.
A demonstration was also held near the National Assembly while the US President addressed parliament. With 8,000 police officers standing guard outside, Trump spoke of unification: ”We dream of highways connecting North and South, of cousins embracing cousins, and this nuclear nightmare replaced with the beautiful promise of peace.”
However, two months later, his fiery tone concerning North Korea returned. “I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” With a single tweet, Trump revalidated prior fears of war — its threat continuing to loom over a future uncertain.