The Cable

Trump Threatens North Korea With ‘Fire and Fury the World Has Never Seen’

Vague threats of nuclear war? Must be Tuesday!

trump bedminster

Just after reports emerged that North Korea has produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit onto long-range missiles, President Donald Trump had a tough message for Kim Jong Un and company.

Speaking about the opioid epidemic in Bedminster, New Jersey, where the president is in the midst of his “working vacation,” Trump said that if North Korea continues to escalate the situation, “They will be met with fire, fury, and, frankly, power, the likes of which the world has never seen.”

Yes, there is a video.

The statement comes just days after the U.N. Security Council unanimously passed a U.S.-drafted resolution ramping up sanctions on Pyongyang for its ballistic missile tests. North Korea threatened to retaliate shortly thereafter.

The Trump administration has alternately threatened and cajoled North Korea. Secretary of Defense James Mattis said after a North Korean missile test in early July that the United States was no closer to war with North Korea. But National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said shortly after the passage of the resolution that preventive war was indeed an option for the United States, echoing the more hawkish line staked out earlier this year by the Trump administration.

Now Trump — who famously waxed poetic over the destructive power of “nuclear” during the presidential campaign — has clearly threatened a nuclear-armed rival with unprecedented fire and fury.

Photo credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Emily Tamkin is a staff writer at Foreign Policy covering ambassadorial and diplomatic affairs in Washington. @emilyctamkin

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