The president’s spat with Sen. Corker came as Trump repeated threats of war against North Korea throughout the weekend, tweeting, “Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts of money paid hasn’t worked, agreements violated before the ink was dry, makings fools of U.S. negotiators. Sorry, but only one thing will work!” In brief comments to reporters Saturday, Trump was asked to clarify that remark—as well as a cryptic comment he made last week during a meeting with top generals in which he warned about about the “calm before the storm.”
Reporter: “Can you clarify your ‘calm before the storm’ comment?”
President Donald Trump: “Nothing—nothing to clarify.”
Reporter: “What is the ‘one thing’ that will work regarding North Korea?”
President Donald Trump: “Well, you’ll figure that out pretty soon.”
The powerful head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Tennessee Republican Bob Corker, warned Sunday that President Trump is treating the presidency like “a reality show” and setting the U.S. “on the path to World War III.” Sen. Corker made the comments to The New York Times after Trump spent much of the weekend threatening war with North Korea, and after Trump attacked Corker on Twitter Sunday morning, saying the senator “didn’t have the guts” to run for re-election and claiming Corker dropped out after begging unsuccessfully for Trump’s endorsement. That prompted Corker to respond on Twitter, “It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.”
In news from Washington, officials say President Trump has called for a nearly tenfold increase in the United States’ nuclear weapons arsenal. The unnamed officials told NBC News that Trump called for the massive nuclear arms build-up during a July 20 meeting with the highest-ranking military leaders. It was after this meeting that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly called Trump a “moron.” In response, Trump has now called for an IQ competition with Tillerson.
Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer!
Ri Yong-ho told reporters in New York that North Korea reserved the right to shoot down US bombers.
This applied even when they were not in North Korean airspace, the minister added. The world “should clearly remember” it was the US that first declared war, Mr Ri said.
The two sides have been engaged in an increasingly angry war of words.
Despite weeks of tension, experts have played down the risk of direct conflict between the two.
After Mr Ri addressed the United Nations on Saturday, the US president responded by tweeting that Mr Ri and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “won’t be around much longer” if they continued their rhetoric.
Mr Ri’s response came as he was leaving New York, following the UN General Assembly.
“In light of the declaration of war by Trump, all options will be on the operations table of the supreme leadership of the DPRK [North Korea],” he added.
The Trump administration ordered new sanctions Thursday against North Korea over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program, promising to squeeze North Korean industries and cut off the country’s access to the international banking system. The new sanctions come after Trump mocked North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as “Rocket Man”, threatening to “totally destroy” North Korea—a nation of 25 million people.
On Friday, North Korean state television read a statement attributed to Kim in which he called Trump “a frightened dog” and a “gangster fond of playing with fire.”
Ri Chun-hee: “I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard* with fire.”
North Korea also said Kim was considering a plan to explode a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean in response to U.S. provocations.
*DOTARD: NOUN 1. a person, especially an old person, exhibiting a decline in mental faculties; a weak-minded or foolish old person.
President Trump’s comments at the United Nations General Assembly urging the withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal sounded familiar to economist Jeffrey Sachs. “The last time we had this kind of rhetoric was George W. Bush with the axis of evil,” Sachs said. “It was immediately followed by the Iraq War, which was the most disastrous single step of American military action and ‘diplomacy,’ or anti-diplomacy, in modern times. So this is a setup, again, for war, for conflict. And it is extraordinarily ignorant and dangerous. Iran is in compliance with the agreement that was reached.”
PRESIDENTDONALDTRUMP: The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into. Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it. Believe me. It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death and destruction.
The agreement with Iran that was reached was not just with the United States, but with the U.K., with France, with Russia, with China, with Germany, with all of the permanent members of the Security Council.
This is German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel.
Sigmar Gabriel: “How are we going to convince countries like North Korea that international agreements provide them with security and, in so doing, make them commit to further disarmament efforts, if the only international example for such an endeavor being successful—the agreement with Iran—no longer has effect?”
At the United Nations headquarters in New York City, dozens of countries have signed on to a landmark treaty to ban nuclear weapons worldwide. The United Nations calls it the world’s first legally binding treaty banning nuclear weapons. It prohibits the development, testing and possession of nuclear weapons, as well as using or threatening to use these weapons. The treaty was approved by 122 U.N. member states in July, despite heavy U.S. opposition to the treaty. Following the treaty’s approval, the U.S., Britain and France published a joint statement saying they “have not taken part in the negotiation of the treaty … and do not intend to sign, ratify or ever become party to it.”