Monday 18 December 2017

Trump says his 'fire and fury' statement on North Korea was maybe not tough enough

US President Donald Trump (left) and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
US President Donald Trump (left) and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un Newsdesk Newsdesk

President Donald Trump has escalated his rhetoric on North Korea, saying his "fire and fury" comment might not be "tough enough."

Mr Trump said North Korea had "better get their act together or they are going to be in trouble like few nations have ever been in trouble".

The US president was addressing reporters during his holiday at his New Jersey golf club before a security briefing with top advisers.

It is the latest warning since he said earlier this week that North Korea faces "retaliation with fire and fury unlike any the world has seen before".

North Korea has said it may attack Guam in retaliation.

Referring to his comments earlier in the week Mr Trump said: "Maybe that statement wasn't tough enough."

He said North Korea had been "getting away with a tragedy that can't be allowed".

But he declined to say whether the US was considering a pre-emptive military strike, arguing that his administration never discusses such deliberations publicly.

But he said: "I will tell you this, if North Korea does anything in terms of even thinking about attack of anybody that we love or we represent or our allies or us they can be very, very nervous.

"I'll tell you why… because things will happen to them like they never thought possible."

Mr Trump said it was time that somebody stood up to the pariah nation.

Flanked by US vice president Mike Pence, he said: "It may very well be tougher than I said."

Mr Trump said the US "of course" would always consider negotiations with North Korea, but added that negotiations with the North have failed for the last 25 years. He accused his predecessors of failing to effectively address the North Korea problem.

Alluding to the threats against Guam, Mr Trump said if North Korea took any steps to even think about an attack, it would have reason to be nervous.

"Things will happen to them like they never thought possible, OK?" Mr Trump said. Of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Mr Trump added: "He's been pushing the world around for a long time."

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