WORLD Trump ups ante in war of words
NOT backing down, US President Donald Trump warned Kim Jong- un’s government yesterday to “get their act together” or face extraordinary trouble, and suggested he had been too mild when he vowed to unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea if it continued to threaten the US.
“Maybe that statement wasn’t tough enough,” Mr Trump said, in the latest US salvo in an escalating exchange of threats between the nuclear- armed nations.
A day after North Korea laid out plans to strike near Guam with unsettlingly specificity, there was no observable march toward combat, despite the angry rhetoric from both sides.
But Mr Trump insisted if North Korea took any steps to attack Guam, Pyongyang’s leaders would have reason to be nervous.
“Things will happen to them like they never thought possible, OK?” Mr Trump said. He did not specify what they might be.
Still, the stage is set for new confrontation soon. US and South Korean military officials plan to move ahead with largescale exercises later this month that North Korea claims are a rehearsal for war.
The exercises are an annual event, but come as Pyongyang says it is readying a plan to fire off four “Hwasong- 12” missiles toward the US island territory and major military hub. The plan would be sent to leader Kim Jong- un for approval just before or as the US- South Korea exercises begin.
Called Ulchi- Freedom Guardian, the exercises are expected to run from August 21- 31 and involve tens of thousands of American and South Korean troops on the ground and in the sea and air.
The exercises were scheduled well before tensions began to rise over Mr Trump’s increasingly fiery rhetoric and North Korea’s announcement of the missile plan, which would be its most provocative launch yet.
Mr Trump declined to say whether the US is considering a pre- emptive military strike as he spoke to reporters before a briefing with his top national security advisers at his New Jersey golf resort.
The President insisted the North had been “getting away with a tragedy that can’t be allowed”.
“North Korea better get their act together, or they are going to be in trouble like few nations have ever been in trouble,” Mr Trump said.
Accusing his predecessors of insufficient action, Mr Trump said it was time somebody stood up to the pariah nation.