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Tough words hurtle again from Trump

U.S. ‘locked and loaded,’ he warns N. Korea’s Kim

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Photographs by AP

North Korean men read newspapers displayed on the street Friday in Pyongyang, where, despite tensions and talk of war, life in the capital remained calm.

President Donald Trump on Friday issued another warning of swift and forceful retaliation against nuclear-armed North Korea, declaring the U.S. military "locked and loaded." He said the isolated nation's leader "will regret it fast" if he takes any action against U.S. territories and allies.

Trump started the morning with Twitter messages warning of the readiness of the U.S. military, then followed up in the afternoon by telling reporters that he hoped the North Koreans "fully understand the gravity of what I said."

At his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., he singled out Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader, saying Kim has gotten away with destabilizing the region for too long.

"If he utters one threat in the form of an overt threat," or takes action against the U.S. territory of Guam or against U.S. allies, "he will truly regret it and he will regret it fast," Trump said.

[PRESIDENT TRUMP: Timeline, appointments, executive orders + guide to actions in first 200 days]

The North has threatened to fire missiles near Guam, which is about 2,000 miles from Pyongyang.

Asked if the U.S. was going to war, Trump said, without elaborating, "I think you know the answer to that."

Later Friday, the president promised Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo, "You are safe. We are with you 1,000 percent."

Trump's morning tweet said "military solutions" were ready "should North Korea act unwisely." To reinforce the point, the president later shared a post from the U.S. Pacific Command stating that it was standing by for orders should the need arise.

[VIDEO: Daily life resumes as tensions mount in North Korea]

"#USAF B-1B Lancer #bombers on Guam stand ready to fulfill USFK's #FightTonight mission if called upon to do so," the original tweet said.

Trump's comments do not necessarily indicate a specific change in military readiness or any imminent action. The motto of U.S. forces based alongside allied troops in South Korea has long been "Ready to Fight Tonight." There has been little if any sign of mobilization -- such as the evacuation of thousands of American civilians living in the region -- that might suggest preparations for a strike.

The Trump administration has said repeatedly that its diplomatic initiative to pressure North Korea into abandoning its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program is still in its early phases, with much work remaining.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who along with U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley met with Trump on Friday, has said the United States was open to talks if North Korea stopped the missile tests that have rattled the region in recent weeks.

The Associated Press reported Friday that talks between senior U.S. and North Korean diplomats continue through a back channel previously used to negotiate the return of Americans held in North Korea. The talks have expanded to address the deterioration of the relationship, according to U.S. officials and others briefed on the process. They weren't authorized to discuss the confidential exchanges and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Trump refused to discuss the diplomatic contacts. "We don't want to talk about progress, we don't want to talk about back channels," Trump told reporters.

Most importantly, the Trump administration hopes to persuade China to use its influence over North Korea's economy and political leadership to resolve the situation for the United States, but analysts say nothing of the sort is likely to happen, at the earliest, until this fall's Party Congress is completed.

"Hopefully it'll all work out," Trump told reporters later Friday, noting that he would soon call President Xi Jinping to coordinate strategy. "Nobody loves a peaceful solution better than President Trump, that I can tell you."

The Chinese Foreign Ministry is on summer break from its daily news conferences, but it posted a written statement Friday with a typical plea for restraint and dialogue.

China hopes that all parties would "speak and act with caution and do more things that are conducive to de-escalating the tense situation and enhancing mutual trust among parties, rather than relapse into the old path of showing assertiveness and escalating tensions," the statement said.

CONCERNS OVERSEAS

Trump, talking to reporters Friday, dismissed the foreign leaders, lawmakers and national security experts who in recent days have called his threats rash and reckless.

"My critics are only saying that because it's me," Trump said. "If somebody uttered the exact same words that I uttered, they'd say, 'What a great statement, what a wonderful statement.'"

Still, some foreign leaders continued to express concerns over his rhetoric.

Russia's foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, estimated the risk of a military conflict between the U.S. and North Korea as "very high," and said Moscow was deeply concerned.

"When you get close to the point of a fight, the one who is stronger and wiser should be the first to step back from the brink," Lavrov said Friday.

"I don't see a military solution and I don't think it's called for," said German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She declined to say whether Germany would stand with the U.S. in case of a military conflict with North Korea and called on the U.N. Security Council to continue to address the issue.

"I think escalating the rhetoric is the wrong answer," Merkel added.

"Let her speak for Germany," Trump said, when asked about the comment. "Perhaps she is referring to Germany. She's certainly not referring to the United States, that I can tell you."

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia, on the other hand, said his country would support the United States if the ally was attacked by North Korea. In a statement released after a meeting with the defense officials and policy experts on the situation in the Korean Peninsula, Turnbull denounced North Korea's "illegal, reckless, provocative conduct," which he said threatened stability in the region and "put the world at risk."

The three-way mutual security treaty with the United States and New Zealand "means that if America is attacked, we will come to their aid," he added. "If Australia is attacked, the Americans will come to our aid. We are joined at the hip."

Yet New Zealand would not commit. Prime Minister Bill English told news outlet NZN that he was focusing on peace, but if there was military action against North Korea, his country would "consider our contribution on its merits." Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee told reporters: "Committing to an aggressive response now -- while encouraging all involved to avoid escalation -- is not a position we want to take."

The leaders of France, the United States' oldest ally, and Britain, the United States' closest ally, did not offer fresh comments on the tensions, but Jeremy Corbyn, the leftist leader of the opposition Labor Party in Britain, said war would be catastrophic.

"The idea that anyone can contemplate using nuclear weapons at any stage against anybody is unthinkable," Corbyn, who has advocated that Britain give up its nuclear weapons, told Sky News. "There is no such thing as an isolated nuclear attack. It will kill millions on both sides of the Korean border and, of course, in neighboring countries."

Some analysts expect the tensions between the U.S. and North Korea to escalate in the coming days as both North and South Korea celebrate the Aug. 15 anniversary of the end of Japan's occupation of the Korean Peninsula.

The U.S. and South Korea are due to start joint military exercises from Aug. 21, while Japanese and U.S. military personnel have begun drills on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido that run through Aug. 28.

Information for this article was contributed by Peter Baker, Javier C. Hernandez, Gardiner Harris, Megan Specia, Sewell Chan, Melissa Eddy, Steven Erlanger, Andrew Higgins, Lincoln Pigman and Martin Selsoe Sorensen of The New York Times; by Jonathan Lemire, Matthew Pennington and Edith M. Lederer of The Associated Press; and by Stuart Biggs, Justin Sink, Stepan Kravchenko, Andrey Biryukov, Eddie van der Walt, Jeremy Herron and Toluse Olorunnipa of Bloomberg News.

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President Donald Trump, standing (from left) with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and national ... + Enlarge

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A replica of cannons used during the Spanish occupation of Guam in the 19th century sits outside government offices in Hagatn... + Enlarge

A Section on 08/12/2017

Comments

TimberTopper says...

Two nuts going at each other.

Posted 12 August 2017, 4:38 a.m. Suggest removal

mozarky2 says...

Well, TT, this is how the governor of Guam sees it, and I agree with him. What have you got against Guam, TT?
The governor of Guam, Eddie Calvo, backed President Donald Trump’s warning to rain “fire and fury” on North Korea on Wednesday night. “As far as I’m concerned, as an American citizen, I want a president that says that if any nation such as North Korea attacks Guam, attacks Honolulu, attacks the West Coast, that they will be met with hell and fury,”

Posted 12 August 2017, 5:52 a.m. Suggest removal

mozarky2 says...

Meanwhile, here's the terror supporting co-chair of the DNC weighing in on the situation to the Nutroots Nation:
Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.) said on Friday that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un was acting "more responsible than" President Donald Trump. Speaking at the left-wing Netroots Nation conference in Atlanta, Ellison, who serves as Vice-Chair of the Democratic National Committee, spoke briefly on the latest tensions between North Korea and the United States. Ellison spoke critically of Trump's handling of the situation and called the North Korean despot more responsible than Trump. "North Korea is a serious thing. You have this guy [Trump] making bellicose threats against somebody else who has very little to lose over there," Ellison said.

Posted 12 August 2017, 5:56 a.m. Suggest removal

RBBrittain says...

Mozarky2 is reporting from the REAL "Nutroots Nation" -- Breitbart, InfoWars and the like. I doubt his report is even accurate, but Trump is trying so hard to out-Kim Kim that Kim probably IS acting more rationally -- even though his threat against Guam is unacceptable (and should be to ANY President).

Posted 12 August 2017, 6:03 a.m. Suggest removal

mozarky2 says...

RBB, you are living proof that today's "progressives" are in complete denial of reality, driven by nothing but an irrational hatred of Trump.
Do you deny what Governor Calvo and Ellison said?

Posted 12 August 2017, 6:47 a.m. Suggest removal

skeptic1 says...

Maybe if the last three presidents had taken a tough stand Guam and many major cities in the US would not be vulnerable now to the crazy fat kid.

Posted 12 August 2017, 7:50 a.m. Suggest removal

RBear says...

Libertas, what "tough stance" are you advocating? Everything in that regions hinges on China, including regime change. To impose sanctions requires China. To negotiate requires China. To attempt regime change requires China who has a treaty with North Korea to prevent such.
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So enlighten me. What more could the past three presidents who actually worked with a reluctant China have done to avoid this situation? Oh, the DKRP has been just as aggressive under Trump as it has been under others, if not more. Trump is just running his mouth which puts all you in the Trump demographic in a state of weird infatuation.

Posted 12 August 2017, 8:26 a.m. Suggest removal

Packman says...

Hey Moz - Dimwits like RBear and Ellison want to see a mushroom cloud hanging over California before Trump says any more mean words about Little Kim. Seriously. That's their end game. How else to explain their inability to grasp the significance of using the strongest terms possible in light of Little Kim's recent test firings of icbms?

Posted 12 August 2017, 9:17 a.m. Suggest removal

mozarky2 says...

RB, Was Reagan nuts when he went to Berlin and demanded "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall"? Is that wall still standing?
There are currently "back door" negotiations going on that you probably haven't heard about due to your limitied field of vision. Admit it, your biggest fear is that Trump will prove to be right.
So, retreat to your mom's basement with your pussy hat, stuffed animals, and adult coloring books, clutch your pearls and leave this to the real patriots.
BTW, it's DPRK...

Posted 12 August 2017, 9:32 a.m. Suggest removal

TimberTopper says...

moz, I don't have a damn thing against Guam. Surely you are smart enough to know that NK already knows what would and will happen should they attack Guam. However, we have two bullies trying to out bully the other, neither of which have acted like they were playing with a full deck of cards all turned the correct way. I'll remind you, that I have worn the uniform of this country, and taken an oath to protect it. There is no clause in that oath that states it ever ends, so I have always considered it to be a lifetime commitment. Now,
just one friggin mistake by either side and the outcome could very well be more than you or your children or grandchildren can handle is that an option that you like. If so, tell me how much you love your family, convincingly. As far as Reagan's statement, he was aware that the USSR was broke financially. We had finally spent them into to poor house on weapons. I take it that you have seen somewhat of a turn around in Russia's attitude in the last few years, it's know has having money to spend now. Makes a hell of a difference whether it's an individual or a nation. One of their new gold mines is OIL. It seems like you and Packy may have got deferments, since you are so ready to go to war. You go looking for trouble usually you'll find it. Did either of you have heel spurs? You are no more of a "real" patriot than anyone else, so you can save that for a time it may be needed.

Posted 12 August 2017, 10:44 a.m. Suggest removal

RBear says...

Pack, since you used the term it is really dimwits like you that will bring us into such a battle. The fact that you have moved us all the way to Cold War rhetoric shows how little you really understand this situation. Tell you what. Do some reading. Do some research. Step away from the right wing neo-con blogs and let the adults discuss this issue.
...
Just as you keep claiming there was no collusion with Russians, there will be no "mushroom cloud" in this conflict.
...
moz, I keep up with this a lot more than you buddy. Your attacks mean nothing to me because it's just that of a dimwit who really doesn't follow the full international scope of things. Yea, I get those letters confused sometimes. Get them right a few times and get them wrong sometimes. My post history shows I know what they are. The fact you called me out on that shows how petty you are about issues. Grow up. Wait, you are a grown up. So act like one.
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With regards to the Reagan reference, what are you really even trying to correlate to in this conflict? There have been discussions with China over several administrations. Trump has no better leverage with China than any prior. In fact, he probably has less than others based on his prior statements about the Chinese. They aren't ones who suffer fools lightly. In this conflict, China holds ALL the cards and we're just pawns in the discussion. We talk a big talk, but we don't want to get on their bad side. They hold economic leverage, military leverage, and diplomatic leverage. Who do you think other nations will side with if we are the aggressors? Let me play this out a little further for you. If we get into an economic conflict with China, Arkansas will suffer economically. I don't know if you've been watching, but most of those jobs Hutchinson has been recruiting this past year have come from Chinese investment.
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So, I love watching the little petty games you, Pack and other right wing dimwits like to play but there's a lot more to the game than you can even get your heads around. If anything, Trump is playing his base like a fiddle to keep you following his idiot lead. As I've said before, the Trump demographic.

Posted 12 August 2017, 12:15 p.m. Suggest removal

RBear says...

BTW, this is Trump's "wag the dog" moment, a diversion from problems at home. He ramps it up unnecessarily to steal news cycles from the other stories.

Posted 12 August 2017, 12:20 p.m. Suggest removal

23cal says...


"Was Reagan nuts when he went to Berlin and demanded "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall"? Is that wall still standing?" I am amazed that anyone can't tell the difference between "Tear down a wall" and "We're going to start nuclear Armageddon if you don't STFU." That's living in a world of false equivalence.
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There is a difference between chest pounding false bravado and sound, poised leadership. Unfortunately, Trump is totally unfamiliar with the latter, and too familiar with the former.
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Trump has an appalling ignorance of the current world, of history, of previous American engagement, of what former Presidents thought and did. He has an almost studious rejection of the type of in-depth knowledge that virtually all of his predecessors eventually gained or had views on.
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“The President has little understanding of the context”—of what’s happening in the world—“and even less interest in hearing the people who want to deliver it,” Michael Hayden, a retired four-star general and former director of both the C.I.A.
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"Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path" translates to "Kim Jong Un better be the adult in the room, because I'm sure as Hell not!"
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I personally endorse our president going to war with North Korea. Not the military, of course, just the president.....and the sooner the better. #Nomorebonespurs

Posted 12 August 2017, 12:22 p.m. Suggest removal

mozarky2 says...

Problems at home, RB? Job creation through the roof, stock market exploding upward, consumer and business confidence at record highs, wages increasing...crisis? What crisis?
You are one of the most pitifully informed people on this forum. Broaden your horizons a little, RB. Step out of that dementocrat echo chamber once in a while.

Posted 12 August 2017, 1:32 p.m. Suggest removal

RBear says...

moz (second iteration), maybe you are the one who is the least informed if you ignore all that plagues Trump's administration. Based on your comment, I can see either ignorance or denial. No need to address it. Your statement took care of illustrating it.

Posted 12 August 2017, 3:36 p.m. Suggest removal

Packman says...

Hey RB - The reason I called you a dimwit is because you refuse to even consider the thought that military experts and patriots believe it necessary to take away Little Kim's nuclear firepower by force. Nobody wants that but it might be the best alternative for America and the rest of the world. Only a dimwit would refuse to give this notion critical thought. Dimwit. You earned it, RB.

Posted 12 August 2017, 3:54 p.m. Suggest removal

RBear says...

Pack, see this is why trying to even discuss things with you is a challenge. Dimwit because I disagreed with your POV? Yea, that's a real adult way to discuss. But par for the course from you.
...
With regards to your points, I don't disagree with the fact that world leaders see the need to remove the nuclear weapons and delivery methods from NK, but as I've said before and what YOU refuse to accept is that we aren't in the driver's seat on this one and never will be. Until China agrees to that position and presses harder on NK, we're stuck with the hand we're dealt. Apparently you haven't really read my comments on the matter otherwise you'd provide a rational rebuttal. There is NOTHING we can do militarily against NK without the accepting nod from China due to the treaty. So if anyone's a dimwit here ...

Posted 12 August 2017, 4:50 p.m. Suggest removal

mozarky2 says...

RB, are you denying what I said about the economy?

Posted 12 August 2017, 5:28 p.m. Suggest removal

mozarky2 says...

Awfully strange comment coming from the terror supporting, white hating Chairman of the DNC...
"You hear Republicans say, 'We're the party of Lincoln.' He wouldn't recognize these people," said Rep. Keith Ellison, a congressman from Minnesota and Democratic National Committee deputy chairman. "The fact is that the Republican Party today is the party of racism. Now I'm not saying every Republican is a racist, but I'm saying their party does hold that up".

Posted 12 August 2017, 5:37 p.m. Suggest removal

23cal says...

Moz, I'll take a peek at "Job creation through the roof", which is typical of your other rah-rah falsehoods....unless you are admitting job creation was "through the roof" under Obama.
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1,074,000 jobs during Trump's first six full months in office.
That essentially matches the 1,084,000 jobs created during President Barack Obama's last six months in office.
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My takeaway is that Trump hasn't yet screwed up what he was handed on a silver platter, not that he has done anything wonderful.
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Oh, I failed to mention: The job numbers for the first six months of last year were better. The job numbers for the first six months of the year before that were better. So what has Trump done to make it better? Nothing....because it isn't better.
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Obama was sworn in during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, when the economy was hemorrhaging jobs. By contrast, Obama handed Trump an economy that was close to what economists consider full employment, following the longest expansion since WWII and job gains 75 months IN A ROW, the best on record.
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Throughout that expansion and those months of job gains, Trump was claiming the numbers were fake. The right wing couldn't do anything except piss and moan about the participation rate---which for Obama was the exact same as it has been for Trump, 62.9%. After the way you railed on Obama's job creation to ballyhoo that Trump's lesser numbers are "through the roof" is base hypocrisy....exactly what we have come to expect.
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We are still under the Obama budget until Sept. Trump hasn't done diddly squat except claim credit for what he was given by Obama just like he claimed credit for being a great businessman because his Daddy gave him huge amounts of money.
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The economy is in fact doing well. Thank you, President Obama, and thank you Donald Trump for not yet screwing up what was given to you.

Posted 12 August 2017, 5:44 p.m. Suggest removal

DontDrinkDatKoolAid says...

North Korea is a real problem, and has been. Go President Trump !!

Posted 12 August 2017, 8:24 p.m. Suggest removal

mozarky2 says...

23cal, try convincing voters of that in November 2018. You can shove your phony numbers up your...whatever.

Posted 12 August 2017, 8:36 p.m. Suggest removal

RBear says...

moz, you're just another tool of the administration trying to deflect from the real issue. Some of us are able to walk and chew gum at the same time. The Trump demographic? Nah, kinda hard to stay focused on multiple issues. They have what I call "squirrel moments" all the time. Things get hot. Trump yells squirrel and they go running after that issue.

Posted 12 August 2017, 10:16 p.m. Suggest removal

mrcharles says...

Moz is getting extra cranky now days. Then again reality bothers BS mountain followers. So nice to see Sean Hannity having near strokes over his dear leader being questioned in his divinity.

It is amazing the supporters of the most divisive POTUS in history are around here to comment, thought most would be in Virginia lining up for succession again or carrying torches with their buddies who wave non Old Glory Flags .

Posted 12 August 2017, 11 p.m. Suggest removal

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