Keep your iodine pills, handy folks.
As tensions with North Korea continue to rise, many US officials are encouraging the country to trust in diplomacy. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently said that Americans should “sleep well” knowing that the threat has not changed. The President, however, seems intent on escalation. Earlier this week he threatened North Korea with “fire and fury.” Today he issues a new threat via twitter.
The President’s Aggressive Tone
President Trump responded to news that the North Koreans had developed the ability to shrink a nuclear warhead, enabling the warhead to be attached to a missile, by threatening Pyongyang with “fire and fury.”
Kim Jong Un responded in kind, threatening a military strike against the US territory of Guam. While others around the President, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, insist that diplomacy is the solution, the President appears uninterested in a diplomatic approach.
The President’s “fire and fury” remarks were off the cuff, not planned and not vetted by military or diplomatic advisers. The President doubled down on the “fire and fury” threat on Thursday, saying that it may not have been severe enough.
Today’s Twitter Threats
The President continued his aggressive posturing on Friday as he tweeted an additional threat to Kim Jong Un.
This came on a third straight day of increasing threats to North Korea. Wednesday the President said he would unleash, “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” Thursday, the President insisted that North Korea “better get their act together or they’re going to be in trouble like few nations ever have been in trouble in this world.”
The White House Response
White House advisers have attempted to downplay the President’s threats. An official told CNN that there are military plans in place for “just about any crisis we may face in the world. The official added, “This isn’t anything new.”
Secretary of Defense James Mattis said after the President’s remarks Thursday that diplomatic efforts remain the preferred means for solving the escalating tensions. He pointed out the near unanimous support at the UN for a resolution that tightened sanctions on Kim Jong Un.