On Friday afternoon, President Trump held a press conference with Labor Secretary Alex Acosta and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in attendance, as well as a media press pool, to make one thing clear: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will regret making threats and taking any action against the U.S.
If Kim makes more threats or takes any action against a U.S. territory such as Guam or any American allies such as Japan, Trump said, “He will truly regret it. And he will regret it fast.”
The president made the comments ahead of a meeting at his New Jersey golf club, where he is working from while the White House undergoes renovations.
Earlier today, a North Korean state news agency representing dictator Kim Jong Un released a statement aimed at President Trump and the United States. The network warned that “even a single shell dropped on the Korean Peninsula might lead to the outbreak of … thermonuclear war.”
“We consider the U.S. no more than a lump which we can beat to a jelly any time,” the Korean Central News Agency stated when it issued the threat, quoting Institute of International Studies researcher Kang Kum Chol.
Pentagon officials, in response to the odd “beat to a jelly” threat, told Fox News on Friday that the U.S. military stands ready to “fight tonight” on the Korean Peninsula. The “fight tonight” vow is a legendary motto for U.S. forces deployed to the region.
President Trump earlier on Friday said the U.S. is “locked and loaded” and retweeted images from the U.S. Pacific Command showing B-1B Lancer bombers on Guam. “Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!” Trump also tweeted.
In terms of the threats made towards Guam, Trump stated if the communist leader attacks the island, “it will be an event the likes of which nobody has seen before – what will happen in North Korea. It’s not a dare, it’s a statement.”
The island of Guam has approximately 6,000 U.S. troops stationed there, and its population exceeds 160,000 people.
In a war with North Korea, Guam, which is 2,100 miles away, is very important to the United States.
It is also important to note that on Friday morning, the Chinese government said if North Korea fires upon the U.S. it will remain neutral in the conflict. But, if the U.S. strikes first, it vows to protect Kim and his regime.
The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to introduce a set of punishing sanctions that could cost North Korea almost $1 billion off of its $3 billion annual export revenue. The resolution, which is considered the harshest levied against Pyongyang in a decade, was payback for its testing of two intercontinental ballistic missiles last month. Those tests, plus word that the rogue regime may have miniaturized nuclear weapons, have brought the world to the brink of war.
According to a released AP report from earlier, the Trump administration has been quietly engaging in back channel diplomacy with North Korea for several months, addressing Americans imprisoned in the communist country, such as released Otto Warmbier, and deteriorating relations between the long-time foes.
It had been known the two sides had discussions to secure the June release of the American university student. But it wasn’t known until now that the contacts have continued, or that they have discussed other topics, matters other than U.S. prisoners, heavily.
However, officials familiar with the contacts say the interactions have not diluted tensions over North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile advances, which are now fueling fears of military confrontation. But they say the behind-the-scenes discussions could still be a foundation for more serious negotiation, including on North Korea’s nuclear weapons, should President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un put aside the militaristic rhetoric of recent days and endorse a dialogue.
According to the Associated Press report, the two key contacts in the secret back channel are Joseph Yun, the U.S. envoy for North Korea policy, and Pak Song Il, a senior North Korean diplomat at the country’s U.N. mission, according to U.S. officials and others briefed on the process. The officials weren’t authorized to discuss the confidential exchanges and “spoke on condition of anonymity.”
Officials called it the “New York channel,” and claim Yun is the only U.S. diplomat in contact with any North Korean counterpart. The communications largely serve as a way to exchange messages, allowing Washington and Pyongyang to relay information without public knowledge.
Drowned out by the furor over Trump’s warning to North Korea of “fire and fury like the world has never seen,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has expressed a willingness to entertain negotiations. His condition: Pyongyang stopping tests of missiles that can now potentially reach the U.S. mainland.
In recent days, President Trump doubled down on his threats to unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea.
On Thursday, Trump said the following about his previous statement:
“Maybe it wasn’t tough enough. It’s about time that somebody stuck up for the people of this country and for the people of other countries. So, if anything, maybe that statement wasn’t tough enough. And we’re backed 100 percent by our military, we’re backed by everybody and we’re backed by many other leaders.”
In terms of what could be tougher than “fire and fury,” according to a USA Today report, Trump said only: “You’ll see. You’ll see.”
Trump said he would consider negotiations with North Korea and declined to discuss the possibility of a preemptive strike against Pyongyang. “We don’t talk about that. We never do.”
Making a brief statement from his golf club, President Trump directed remarks at North Korea in response to the rogue nation’s latest nuclear provocation. The president stated unequivocally that the United States is prepared to take action, if necessary.
Riled up over new sanctions leveled against North Korea by the United Nations, brutal dictator Kim Jong Un released a threatening message to the U.S. on Monday. Although the U.N. noted that North Korea’s unyielding testing of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) was the reason for the sanctions, Kim vowed to take “righteous actions” that would make America pay “thousands of times” in a statement released through his dictatorship’s official news agency.
Reportedly, North Korea views the sanctions as “crimes” that violate its sovereignty.
While North Korea has been known to threaten to send “gift packages” to the U.S., President Trump recently vowed to meet any such gifts with fury. In a brief statement, the president said:
“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. [Kim Jong Un] has been very threatening, beyond a normal state, and as I said they will be met with fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before. Thank you.”
President Trump’s warning comes after U.S. intelligence officials concluded Tuesday that North Korea has successfully created a small nuclear warhead, crossing “a key threshold” to becoming a fully-fledged nuclear power.
Reportedly, an analysis completed by the Defense Intelligence Agency in June estimates that North Korea possesses up to 60 nuclear weapons, meaning the regime’s military capabilities are advancing rapidly.
Recently, an ICBM believed capable of hitting the U.S. mainland was tested by North Korea, raising concerns in the U.S. and Canada.
After the sanctions were announced, Kim Jong Un vowed revenge in his statement, and said, “There is no bigger mistake than the United States believing that its land is safe across the ocean.”
President Trump was proud of the unanimous United Nations Security Council vote to impose the tough new sanctions on North Korea, and for gaining the support of China and Russia, who blocked such sanctions in the past.
Following President Trump’s statement on Tuesday against North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his regime, North Korea is continuing its wringing threats of nuclear strikes against the U.S.
On Wednesday, state-run media warned that North Korea would “turn the U.S. mainland into the theater of a nuclear war” if there were any indications of a possible American attack, according to a report from The Hill.
Many critics have condemned Trump’s comments, including Sen. John McCain. According to McCain, Trump’s statement is not likely to help the situation. Asked by a local Arizona reporter if he’s surprised that North Korea may have a nuclear weapon that could be mounted on a ballistic missile, McCain said he’s not surprised by the news, but he finds the announcement worrisome.
“I’m usually one who puts a lot of blame on President Trump,” McCain said. But he quickly admitted that the president can’t be blamed for the current state of relations between the United States and North Korea.
Mainstream media elites have also been attempting to quiver their audience with fear, following the trading of verbal statements between the two countries’ leaders, even going as far as suggesting a new, imminent Cold War era is coming.
Judge Andrew Napolitano, who is usually rather supportive of Trump, said the president’s comments about how he would deal with North Korea were “over the top.”
However, some have shown support toward Trump’s rhetoric. During an appearance on “CBS This Morning” on Wednesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said, “President Trump has basically drawn a red line, saying that he’ll never allow North Korea to have an [intercontinental ballistic missile] that can hit America with a nuclear weapon on top.”
Graham, who doesn’t often have nice things to say about Trump, appeared to hold a high level of confidence in the president’s ability to keep North Korea at bay. When speaking about how Trump will handle the threat posed by North Korea, Graham said, “He’s not going to let that happen. He’s not going to contain the threat, he’s going to stop the threat.”
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday said he doesn’t believe there is “any imminent threat” from North Korea, and urged Americans to remain calm.
“What the president is doing is sending a strong message to North Korea in language that Kim Jong Un can understand, because he doesn’t seem to understand diplomatic language,” Tillerson said. “I think the president just wanted to be clear to the North Korean regime on the U.S.’ unquestionable ability to defend itself … will defend itself and its allies.”
Trump tweeted Wednesday about his successful boosting of the U.S.’ nuclear arsenal since he was elected into office. In addition, a recently resurfaced 1999 interview video of then-Trump Organization CEO Donald Trump proves he has the right mindset to handle the threat of North Korea.
And if North Korea is attempting to bolster an image of defiance, it is clearly lacking since it just released a highly-coveted Canadian prisoner early Wednesday morning, following Trump’s declaration.
On Friday, Trump used his Twitter account to send a very clear message to North Korea and its rogue leader, Kim Jong Un.
In the tweet, he said the United States military, which is the most powerful in the world, is ready to strike if necessary.
The tweet reads: “Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!”
The president sent out the tweet on the heels of a report wherein China says it will protect North Korea and the Kim regime if the U.S. attacks first. China made the statement through its state-run news agency.
Meanwhile, Defense Sec. James Mattis told reporters on Thursday that he will not reveal his plans to the enemy, but emphasized the United States military stands ready.
The president’s tweet on Friday morning follows a series of strong-worded warnings he’s sent to North Korea this week, including the “fire and fury” comment.
The president has been praised by some in the media for taking a strong position and sending a clear message that America will not be a victim of a nuclear attack by North Korea, and that the U.S. will protect its allies. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Friday that his nation is prepared to help the US in the event of a North Korean attack.
His comments come after UN Security Council sanctions have been ineffective in deterring North Korea from developing nuclear weapons, and Pyongyang said this week it had a plan to fire four missiles at the US territory of Guam.
“America stands by its allies, including Australia of course, and we stand by the United States,” Turnbull told local radio 3AW on Friday. “So, be very, very clear on that. If there is an attack on the US, the Anzus Treaty would be invoked and Australia would come to the aid of the United States, as America would come to our aid if we were attacked.”
The Anzus Treaty is a security agreement signed in 1951 between the United States, Australia and New Zealand during at the onset of the Korean War. Signatories are compelled to “consult” and “act to meet the common danger” if one is attacked. The United States and New Zealand suspended their obligations to one another in the 80s but Australia invoked the treaty in 2001 when it sent troops to Afghanistan to aid the US after the 9/11 attacks.
Turnbull described the US alliance as “the absolute bedrock of our national security.”
“Now, how that manifests itself obviously will depend on the circumstances and the consultations with our allies,” he said.
The “circumstances” to which Turnbull refers are the threats issued back and forth between President Donald Trump and Pyongyang. Trump has made it clear that military intervention is on the table, but virtually every other American politician has called for a more peaceful stance. Undoubtedly, the public only knows a fraction of the entire North Korea story, as the US has reportedly been engaging in secret talks with Pyongyang for months.
China, which just voted to sanction North Korea, has said it would defend their neighbor in the event of a US attack. If North Korea launches an attack against the United States first, the Chinese government says that it will stay neutral.
“If the U.S. and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime, and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so,” reported the Global Times, a daily Chinese newspaper controlled by the Communist Party.
Despite China’s position, other Asia-Pacific countries are now coming out in support of the United States in the event of a North Korean nuclear attack. Japan’s defense minister, Itsunori Onodera, said this week that his nation’s military was ready to shoot down North Korean nuclear missiles, if necessary.
DML NEWS launched a poll on Friday morning asking readers if America should fire the first shot at North Korea. So far, more than 70% of respondents state the U.S. should not take a preemptive strike. The poll is available by clicking here.
Twitter videos below:
Trump says Kim Jong Un won’t get away with what he’s doing; If he tries anything, “he will truly regret it” and fast https://t.co/aALEfz2G0F
— CNN International (@cnni) August 11, 2017
“We have tens of millions of people in this country that are so happy with what I’m saying,” Trump says regarding his North Korea comments pic.twitter.com/t8S2siHioU
— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 11, 2017
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