President Donald Trump ramped up his rhetoric against North Korea once again this morning, with a tweet telling the world that the U.S. military’s plans are “locked and loaded” if the isolated communist country acts “unwisely.”
The tweet came hours after Trump told the media on Thursday that his “fire and fury” statement might not have been tough enough. He responded to critics who thought the “fire and fury” comment had crossed a line.
“Frankly, the people questioning that statement, was it too tough, maybe it wasn’t tough enough. They’ve been doing this to our country a long time, for many years. And it’s about time that somebody stuck up for the people of this country and the people of other countries,” Trump said Thursday from his property in New Jersey. “So if anything, maybe that statement wasn’t tough enough and we’re backed by 100 percent by our military, we’re backed by everybody. And we’re backed by many other leaders. I noticed that many senators and others came out today very much in favor of what I said. But if anything that statement may not be tough enough.”
The rhetoric between Trump and North Korea has grown more and more antagonistic after the United Nations unanimously approved new sanctions against North Korea, which has continued to develop its missile program despite international warnings. Even its ally China supported the sanctions.
On Tuesday, the same day the Washington Post reported that U.S. intelligence learned that North Korea has made a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles, Trump threatened “fire and fury” against North Korea.
North Korea responded to that by issuing a detailed statement on its plans to launch missiles off the coast of Guam by the end of the month. “Sound dialogue is not possible with such a guy bereft of reason and only absolute force can work on him. This is the judgment made by personnel of the KPA Strategic Force,” the statement read, referring to Trump.
Despite the tough comments from Trump, the president said American citizens “should be very comfortable.” He also said he would act if North Korea took any action against the American allies in the region, like South Korea and Japan.
“I will tell you this, if North Korea does anything in terms of even thinking about attack, of anybody that we love or that we represent or our allies or us, they can be very, very nervous, I’ll tell you what,” Trump said on Thursday. “And they should be very nervous. Because things will happen to them like they never thought possible. OK? He’s been pushing the world around for a long time.”
After Trump’s comments on Thursday, North Korea countered with another strongly-worded statement. “The U.S. would suffer a shameful defeat and final doom if it persists in extreme military adventure, sanctions and pressure,” the statement read, CNN reports. Officials there “vowed to mercilessly wipe out the provocateurs making desperate attempts to stifle socialist country.”
Other members of the Trump administration have issued warnings to North Korea. “The DPRK must choose to stop isolating itself and stand down its pursuit of nuclear weapons,” Secretary of Defense James Mattis said in a statement released by the Pentgon. “The DPRK should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people.”