US President Donald Trump issued an intense warning to North Korea on Tuesday, saying they “best not make any more threats against the United States” lest they “be met with fire and fury unlike the world has ever seen”.
Here’s the fiery statement:
Trump threatens North Korea with “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” That can only mean nuclear war. pic.twitter.com/zKz0zOzJ42
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) August 8, 2017
It follows a Washington Post report citing a leaked US intelligence memo that acknowledges that North Korea can make nuclear warheads small enough to fit on missiles, and that they may have 60 such devices.
“He has been very threatening, beyond a normal statement,” Trump said of Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s Leader. “As I said they will be met with fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.”
Trump’s administration has stressed that it doesn’t seek regime change in North Korea, but not every voice appears to be on the same page.
Trump’s National Security Advisor, H.R. McMaster, told MSNBC’s Hugh Hewitt that Trump “has been very clear about it: He said he’s not going to tolerate North Korea being able to threaten the United States.”
In June, Secretary of Defence Mattis told the House Appropriations Committee that war with North Korea would be “more serious in terms of human suffering than anything we’ve seen since 1953,” and result in “the massive shelling of an ally’s capital, which is one of the most densely packed cities on earth.”
The US has long made clear that it would retaliate to North Korean aggression with appropriate force, but Trump’s statement differs from those of past presidents’ by extending the threat to the simple act of North Korean media issuing threats.
As it stands, North Korea threatens severe retaliation for virtually every US diplomatic, logistic, and military move that offends the country.