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South Korean and U.S. marine fighter jets fly over the Korean Peninsula during a training on Aug. 31, 2017 in Gangwon-do, South Korea. Handout/South Korean Defense Ministry hide caption

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Handout/South Korean Defense Ministry

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson shakes hands with China's President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Saturday. Tillerson acknowledged the U.S. has direct contact with North Korea over its nuclear program. China is seen as crucial in helping to avert a military confrontation. Lintao Zhang/AP hide caption

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Lintao Zhang/AP

President Trump told the U.N. General Assembly Tuesday that the U.S. may have no choice but to "totally destroy" North Korea if forced to defend itself and its allies. Richard Drew/AP hide caption

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Richard Drew/AP

Stanislav Petrov, a former Soviet military officer, poses at his home in 2015 near Moscow. In 1983, he was on duty when the Soviet Union's early warning satellite indicated the U.S. had fired nuclear weapons at his country. He suspected, correctly, it was a false alarm and did not immediately send the report up the chain of command. Petrov died at age 77. Pavel Golovkin/AP hide caption

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Pavel Golovkin/AP
Alyson Hurt/NPR

NPR/Ipsos Poll: Half Of Americans Don't Trust Trump On North Korea

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People at the Seoul Railway Station in the South Korean capital watch a TV report on North Korea's missile launch on Friday, days after the U.N. Security Council adopted new sanctions against Pyongyang. Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images hide caption

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Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Moon Jae-in, South Korea's president, (center) will meet with President Trump on Thursday and Friday. Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

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Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

What To Expect From The White House Summit With South Korea's Leader

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South African President F.W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela jointly received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway, in 1993 for negotiating an end to apartheid. Earlier that year, de Klerk announced that South Africa had dismantled six nuclear weapons, becoming to first country to get rid of nuclear bombs that it had built. Gerard Julien/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Gerard Julien/AFP/Getty Images

Giving Up Nuclear Weapons: It's Rare, But It's Happened

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in the George C. Marshall room at the State Department on Thursday. Ariel Zambelich/NPR hide caption

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Transcript: NPR Interviews Secretary Of State Rex Tillerson

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Vintage American history photo of a nuclear weapon test by the American military at Bikini Atoll, Micronesia on July 25, 1946. The explosion was part of Operation Crossroads. John Parrot/Stocktrek Images/Getty Images hide caption

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Donald Trump spoke at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Conference in March when he was a candidate for the GOP presidential nomination. Saul Loeb /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Saul Loeb /AFP/Getty Images