By the time U.S. President Donald Trump departed Seoul on Wednesday, the sometimes bellicose leader seemed to have mollified South Koreans, who had been bracing for more confrontational rhetoric over North Korea, trade, and defense spending.

Throughout his 24-hour swing through South Korea, Trump, who in a September speech at the United Nations had threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea and had dismissed dialogue with Pyongyang as a "waste of time," took a more restrained tone.

In his first trip to South Korea as president, Trump also significantly toned down his criticism of what he once called a "horrible" free trade deal with South Korea. He says now he will "find a fair and reciprocal" deal after earlier threatening to terminate the pact.