Posted: 3:37 pm Tuesday, August 8th, 2017
By Jamie Dupree
With new reports that North Korea has figured out how to make nuclear weapons small enough to fit on a missile, President Donald Trump warned the Pyongyang regime on Tuesday that any effort to threaten or attack the United States would be met with a decisive U.S. military response.
“As I said, they will be met with fire, fury and frankly, power – the likes of which the world has never seen before,” Mr. Trump told reporters during a photo op at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf course.
“He has been very threatening,” the President said of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, hours after the leak of a Defense Intelligence Agency assessment to the Washington Post, which concluded that North Korea had figured out how to miniaturize nuclear weapons, and place them on a missile.
President Trump: If North Korea makes any more threats to the U.S., "they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen" pic.twitter.com/8dQed79L1W
— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 8, 2017
The President’s blunt warning of possible military action was met with a frown by some in Congress.
“North Korea is a global threat that requires American diplomacy,” said Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), who labeled Mr. Trump’s talk “dangerous and risks war.”
“This is unwise,” said Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), whose state is close enough to be a target of North Korean’s missiles.
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) August 8, 2017
“The situation on the Korean peninsula is already volatile enough,” said Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA). “President Trump is not helping the situation with his bombastic comments.”
“We cannot permit the North Korean regime to have the ability to threaten our country with a nuclear weapon,” said Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI).
Asked to flesh out the President’s remarks, top White House aide Kellyanne Conway offered little to reporters.
“The President’s comments were very strong and obvious,” Conway said.
McCain on Trump's NK comment: "I take exception to the President's comments because you've gotta be sure you can do what you say you can do"
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) August 8, 2017
Most lawmakers were silent on Mr. Trump’s comments about North Korea, as Congress is on a summer break until Labor Day.
The comments about North Korea came as Mr. Trump met with top administration officials on ways to rein in the opioid crisis, as Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price was briefing the President.