Our friends at The Intercept recently made the case that President Trump is tweeting his way into war with North Korea, and he further bolstered the theory on Friday morning.
Trump and Kim Jong-un have exchanged escalating rhetoric this week after North Korea’s development of mini-nukes that could fit inside its long-range missiles. Trump first vowed to unleash “fire and fury,” and then he answered subsequent criticism by concluding that his words were “not tough enough.” In the latest installment, Trump got tougher with a tweet, in which he assured North Korea that “[m]ilitary solutions are now fully in place,locked and loaded,should North Korea act unwisely.”
This shall surely be met by another statement from Pyongyang, so stay tuned.
In the meantime, Secretary of Defense General Mattis has somewhat contradicted Trump’s (once-again) fiery rhetoric by insisting that diplomacy should still be the ultimate solution to the situation. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has similarly stressed diplomacy over military action when it comes to denuclearizing North Korea, but obviously, the two leaders with access to nuclear weapons are on a different wavelength.
Should North Korea decide to fire missiles upon Guam as promised, China has already warned Kim Jong-un that he won’t receive their assistance. Yet China has also told the U.S. to halt further provocations as well. As Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Friday, “The current situation on the Korean Peninsula is complicated and sensitive.” Indeed.
Once again, social media is busy with comparisons between this moment of history-in-the-making and the Cuban Missile Crisis. As one might expect, JFK’s expressed hope for “peace and freedom” is back in circulation.
UPDATE: Trump retweeted these photos from the U.S. Pacific Command, which has signaled its readiness to defend Guam from a North Korean bombing.