Donald Trump has said that his “fire and fury” threats against North Korea have not been “tough enough” as he warned Pyongyang risks being “in trouble like few nations have ever been.”
After days of escalating rhetoric between the Trump administration and North Korea over the threat posed by Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programmes, the President showed no signs of toning down his language, even as 60 members of Congress of signed a letter protesting his “irresponsible and dangerous” statements.
“It’s about time someone stood up for the people of our country,” the US President told reporters as part of two separate addresses to the media before and after a security briefing with top advisers.
Mr Trump said earlier this week that North Korea faces “retaliation with fire and fury unlike any the world has seen before” if it continues to threaten the US, rattling both allies and adversaries and leading to the letter of complaint from Congress sent to Secretary of State Rex Tilleron on Thursday.
“Frankly, the people who were questioning that statement, was it too tough? Maybe it wasn’t tough enough,” Mr Trump said. “And we’re backed 100 per cent by our military, we’re back by everybody and we’re backed by many other leaders. And I noticed that many senators and others came out today very much in favour of what I said. But if anything that statement may not be tough enough.”
Mr Trump’s latest remarks come after North Korea’s state-run media claimed it was formulating plans to strike the US territory of Guam with “historic enveloping fire” and taunted Mr Trump as “bereft of reason” and someone for whom “only absolute force can work.”
It is not the first time North Korea has threatened Guam, a small United States territory that hosts a US military outpost. But the North Korean military’s claims via state media that it would have plans to strike Guam with four missiles completed by “mid-August” prompted Mr Trump’s latest response. When asked if he was considering a preemptive strike, Mr Trump responded: “We don’t talk about that. I never do.” But he did say that would soon be announcing a plan to invest billions of dollars in missile defence to protect the US.
The President said the US has been negotiating with North Korea for 25 years and that his nation “would always consider negotiations” – but blamed his predecessors for a lack of progress. President Bill Clinton, he said, was “weak and…