While the world appears to be on edge over North Korea’s ability to launch a nuclear missile, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday said he doesn’t think there is “any imminent threat” from North Korea. (See video below.)
“Nothing that I have seen and nothing that I know of would indicate that the situation has dramatically changed in the last 24 hours,” Tillerson said.
According to The Associated Press, Tillerson’s comments about North Korea were made to reporters as they traveled with him from Malaysia to Washington, D.C., with a stop along the way in Guam.
Hours prior to Tillerson making his comments, North Korea’s army had said in a statement it was exploring plans for attacking Guam, which houses U.S. military bases and is a common refueling stop for U.S. government aircraft.
On Tuesday, U.S. intelligence officials determined that North Korea has, indeed, successfully created a nuclear warhead and has “crossed a key threshold” to becoming a fully-fledged nuclear power. Tillerson’s comments are, no doubt, an effort to calm the fears of Americans who believe World War III is about to start.
Multiple reports, referencing a U.S. military analysis completed in June by the Defense Intelligence Agency, are noting that U.S. officials estimate North Korea to possess up to 60 nuclear weapons in its arsenal. Kim Jong Un’s military capabilities are advancing far more rapidly than experts had predicted.
President Donald J. Trump issued a warning to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un late Tuesday afternoon. “He 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,” the president said, with arms folded and voice raised, to reporters at his New Jersey golf club.
Following Trump’s comments, North Korea raised the possibility of missile strikes on Guam. But Tillerson told reporters that “Americans should sleep well at night.”
Despite Tillerson’s attempt to soften the president’s fighting words, the secretary of state did note the potential for North Korea to cause death and destruction. Tillerson told reporters, “[T]he North Korean missile capability can point in many directions, so Guam is not the only place that would be under threat.”
As the AP reported, Tillerson found himself in a familiar place on Wednesday. Once again, the former CEO of Exxon/Mobil was responsible for translating the president’s comments into more diplomatic terms, which ultimately, if nothing else, is the administration’s attempt to keep the American public from panicking.
Tillerson said, “[T]he president is sending a strong message to North Korea in language that Kim Jong Un would understand.”
Senator John McCain voiced his opposition to the president’s strong use of words Tuesday. The Republican from Arizona said he didn’t think Trump’s comments helped the situation. When asked what he thought the president meant when using the terms “fire and fury,” McCain told a local reporter he has “long ago given up trying to interpret what [Trump] says.”
DML NEWS launched a poll on Wednesday morning asking readers if they thought the president’s comments toward North Korea went too far. After a few hours of votes being cast, more than 92% of respondents say they feel the comments are appropriate and they support the rhetoric.
Rex Tillerson: Trump is "sending a strong message to North Korea in language that Kim Jong Un would understand” https://t.co/wYGdHH8afc
— New Day (@NewDay) August 9, 2017
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