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.”
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.
Defence Secretary James Mattis said Wednesday the U.S. is “never out of diplomatic solutions” in dealing with North Korea—contradicting Donald Trump just minutes after the president tweeted, “The U.S. has been talking to North Korea, and paying them extortion money, for 25 years. Talking is not the answer!” On Thursday, the U.S. flew two nuclear-capable B-1 bombers near the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea, accompanied by South Korean fighter jets. Meanwhile, North Korean state media warned that its test of a new missile fired over Japan this week was a prelude to more military operations directed at the U.S. territory of Guam.
Returning to our top story, President Trump on Thursday ramped up his threats of hitting North Korea with “fire and fury,” saying if the North were to carry out an attack on Guam, the U.S. would retaliate with military action, “the likes of which nobody has seen before.” This is President Trump speaking to reporters from inside his private golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey.
President Donald Trump: “And I think they—it’s the first time they’ve heard it like they heard it. And frankly, the people that were questioning that statement—was it too tough? Maybe it wasn’t tough enough. They’ve been doing this to our country for a long time, for many years, and it’s about time that somebody stuck up for the people of this country and for the people of other countries.”
North Korea responded in a statement calling Trump a “senile man who can’t think rationally.” The North also detailed its threat to strike Guam, saying it would launch four intermediate-range missiles into the waters off the U.S. territory.