Donald Trump has warned Kim Jong Un that if any US territory is attacked, the North Korean leader “will truly regret it.”
“This man will not get away with what he is doing,” Mr Trump said. “If he utters one threat in the form of an overt threat … or if he does anything with respect to Guam, or any place else that is an American territory or an America ally, he will truly regret it and he will regret it fast.”
The President issued the threat in remarks to the press corps that has accompanied him on his extended vacation at his golf resort in New Jersey. When asked about his tweet earlier that morning saying that US military solutions are “locked and loaded” should North Korea threaten the US, Mr Trump said that he’s sure the North Koreans know what he meant.
“Those words are very, very easy to understand,” he said.
Speaking later after meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, Mr Trump said that both Japan and South Korea – the two allies most threatened by any potential North Korean agression – would be “very happy” with what the US is doing. He noted then that the situation with North Korea is very dangerous, but that “noone loves a peaceful solution more than President Trump.”
Mr Trump and Mr Kim have been engaged in an escalating duel of spoken threats recently, after North Korea tested two Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) last month, and after an intelligence report indicated that their military had successfully miniaturised nuclear bombs so that they could be attached to missiles.
Those actions prompted Mr Trump and the US to place severe sanctions on North Korea, leading the Asian country to say they would exact revenge for the economic losses. Mr Trump then threaten “fire and fury” if North Korea kept on moving toward their nuclear missile goals, and if they kept on threatening the US and its territories.
North Korea says that they are planning on launching missiles at Guam by the end of the month, but have so far indicated that the rockets will be warning shots – nothing on land will be targeted.
It is not clear if the plans that the President says are “locked and loaded” would be preemptive strikes, or if they would be defensive and reactionary.
Officials on Guam, a Pacific island that is home to a population of more than 160,000, have begun issuing advisories to residents in case North Korea does end up shooting rockets at them. The island, which hosts two major US military base,…