President Donald Trump said on Thursday that his previous promise to respond to threats from North Korea with “fire and fury like the world has never seen,” may not have been tough enough.
Trump went on to say that North Korea should “get their act together” or it will be in trouble “like few nations have ever been.”
“The people that were questioning that statement, maybe it was too tough, maybe it wasn’t tough enough,” Trump said of his threat to North Korea in a statement outside of his private club in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he is spending time away from the White House.
“It’s about time somebody stuck up for the people of this country and other countries,” Trump continued. “We’re backed 100% by our military.”
Trump’s initial threat was met just hours later by North Korea announcing the consideration of a missile strike on Guam, a US territory in the Pacific. In North Korea’s statement they, also dismissed Trump’s “fire and fury” comments as “nonsense.”
“Well I don’t think they mean that,” Trump said of North Korea’s “nonsense” comment. “It’s the first time they heard it like they heard it,” Trump said, acknowledging the unprecedented nature of his threats against North Korea.
“If North Korea does anything in terms of even thinking about an attack, they can be very very nervous,” said Trump, responding to a question about North Korea’s proposed launches towars Guam. “Things will happen to them like they never thought possible.”
“The people of our country, our allies are safe,” from North Korea, said Trump who also attacked past administrations — particularly those of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama — for failing to halt North Korea’s nuclear program.
“He’s been pushing the world around for a long time,” Trump said, in reference to Kim Jong Un’s aggression in the Western Pacific.
“The DPRK should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people,” said Trump’s Defence Secretary, Jim Mattis about North Korea’s announced consideration of launching missiles at Guam.
On Wednesday, North Korea reasserted that it’s considering shooting four missiles in the waters near Guam, where 7,000 US military personnel and 160,000 civilians live.
North Korea experts contacted by Business Insider find it unlikely that North Korea would launch strikes, but said the US has already suffered a blow to its credibility after Kim deliberately crossed Trump with a threat on the US.