President Trump doubled down Thursday his warning to North Korea that they would face “fire and fury” if they don’t back down from their nuclear ambitions.
“Things will happen to them like they never thought possible,” Trump said to reporters, adding that his comment on Tuesday may not have been “tough enough.”
North Korea tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July, kicking off the rhetorical escalation between the U.S. and itself.
North Korea said it plans to attack the Pacific island Guam, where US strategic bombers are based, along with more than 160,000 US citizens.
North Korea’s official news network, KCNA, released a statement Wednesday calling the U.S. “the heinous nuclear war fanatic” driving the Korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war.
As tensions escalate with North Korea, key cabinet members in the Trump administration have sought to reassure the public that nuclear war is not imminent.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday that Americans should “sleep well at night.”
Defense Secretary James N. Mattis said Thursday that U.S. diplomatic efforts are “gaining traction” with North Korea.
Mattis said, however, that allied forces “now possess the most precise, rehearsed and robust defensive and offensive capabilities on Earth.”
Trump seemed to indicate in a tweet Friday morning that the U.S. is preparing military action against North Korea:
Military solutions are now fully in place,locked and loaded,should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!
North Korea has missiles pointed at the U.S. ally South Korea, which analysts say would be able to “ravage” Seol and much of the country even if the U.S. destroys their nuclear capabilities, said The New York Times Friday.
The verbal sparring between the U.S. and North Korea has had an adverse reverberating effect on the stock market, which opened with sharp lows on Friday.