Much to the surprise of some senior aides, President Donald J. Trump promised to unleash “fire and fury” against North Korea if the country and its leader, Kim Jong-un, continued threats against the United States. On Tuesday, August 8, 2017, the president said, “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.” Later, Chief of Staff General John Kelly stated that he and others on the National Security Council were, indeed, aware of the statement beforehand. Rep. Adam Schiff (California), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, repudiated Trump by saying, “The erratic and fiery belligerence of his statements and tweets do little to defuse the situation and threaten to make a bad situation worse.”
General Kim Rak Gyom
Head of North Korea’s Strategic Rocket Forces, General Kim Rak Gyom, dismissed Trump’s statement as a “load of nonsense,” and stated, “Sound dialogue is not possible with such a guy bereft of reason and only absolute force can work on him.” North Korea is working on a plan to launch missiles at Guam, a U. S. territory and the location of a U. S. airbase.
Trump took to Twitter to boast about the nuclear prowess of the United States, “…Hopefully we will never have to use this power, but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world!” Senator Bernie Sanders (Independent-Vermont) also took to Twitter, saying, “Trump’s bombastic rhetoric is not appropriate when we are dealing with the possibility of a nuclear war that could kill millions of people.”
Is the United States on the eve of a nuclear war with North Korea? While the idea of a world ravaged by nuclear attacks is justifiably horrifying, it is too soon to expect this to be the outcome. It is likely just posturing by the leaders of the two countries and will amount to little more than a war of words. When dealing with the possible annihilation and suffering of so many people, even hotheads usually allow cooler heads to prevail.