A number of Trump administration officials, including the president himself, have publicly commented on the recent threats made by North Korea, including a proposed strike on the waters off Guam, a USA territory in the western Pacific.
Even as President Donald Trump says the USA military is “locked and loaded” to potentially unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea, the two feuding countries have been holding secretive, back-channel talks, The Associated Press reported Friday.
However, despite the rhetorical similarities between the “rain of ruin” and the “fire and fury“, presidential historians like Michael Beschloss say Trump’s language has been unusually harsh considering the context, noting that President John F. Kennedy’s statements during the Cuban Missile Crisis were more muted and that President Dwight D. Eisenhower made a point of not matching the provocative tone of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. But Mattis said Thursday that the American effort was “diplomatically led”. You have the president of the United States essentially threatening a preemptive or a preventive nuclear war in Asia, not in response to a North Korean strike, but in response to North Korea’s rhetoric, the fact that they’re disrespecting the United States.
Consequently, if Kim’s warheads strike USA military bases in the Pacific, the U.S. could ask for Britain’s assistance, but cannot formally compel the United Kingdom and other NATO allies to join the military efforts against North Korea.
On Thursday, Kim Jong-un threatened to strike waters around the USA base in Guam.
“Frankly, the people who were questioning that statement, was it too tough?”
Trump doubled down Thursday on his warning to North Korea.
US President Donald Trump speaks during a security briefing on August 10, 2017, at his Bedminster National Golf Club in New Jersey. “It’s about time that somebody stuck up for the people of this country and for the people of other countries”.
Yet North Korea’s top general escalated those threats, saying this week he was drawing up plans to attack the US territory of Guam with four ballistic missiles. “It’s a good sign” that communication still takes place, he said. “All parties must assure North Koreans we will forego any military action against them if North Korea remains peaceful”.