North Korea’s military is calling Trump’s threat a “load of nonsense,” says “only absolute force” can work on Trump, according to the Associated Press.
North Korea said it will complete plan to attack waters near Guam by mid-August then wait for commander in chief’s order.
While the prospect of military action by either side appears slim, given the level of devastation that would ensue, Trump’s talk Tuesday of “fire and fury like the world has never seen” compounded fears of an accident or misunderstanding leading the nuclear-armed nations into conflict.
This week, an official Japanese report and a classified U.S. intelligence document, as reported by The Washington Post, combined to suggest that the North was closer to being able to strike the United States with a nuclear missile than previously believed. The U.S. document reportedly assessed that the North had mastered the ability to fit a nuclear warhead on its long-range missiles.
After North Korea issued its own warning to the U.S., suggesting it could attack the American territory of Guam, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sought to calm the sense of crisis.
Speaking earlier Wednesday on his way home from Asia, he credited Trump with sending a strong message to the North Korean leader on the “unquestionable” U.S. ability to defend itself, so as to prevent “any miscalculation.” Tillerson insisted the U.S. isn’t signaling a move toward military action, while it pursues a policy of sanctions and isolation of North Korea.
“Americans should sleep well at night,” Tillerson told reporters. He added: “Nothing that I have seen and nothing that I know of would indicate that the situation has dramatically changed in the last 24 hours.”
No sooner had Tillerson ratcheted down the rhetoric than Defense Secretary Jim Mattis ratcheted it back up.
Echoing Trump’s martial tone, Mattis said North Korea should stand down its nuclear weapons program and “cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of…