Trump on US Nuclear Arsenal

Trump on US Nuclear Arsenal

Trump on US Nuclear Arsenal

Mattis' words, some of the strongest he has issued on North Korea, followed incendiary comments from President Donald Trump who said on Tuesday that threats to the United States from Pyongyang would be met with "fire and fury". That is the document in which the USA military spells out its nuclear weapons strategy.

The United States and South Korea remain technically still at war with North Korea after the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended with a truce, not a peace treaty. "President Trump must show steady leadership to prevent further escalating tensions".

The claim: The nuclear arsenal "is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before". But he added: "Hopefully we will never have to use this power". Pyongyang should be "very, very nervous" about any attack on the USA or its allies, he said.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sought to play down the rhetoric.

The tweet came as Trump traded escalating threats with North Korea.

Some legal experts are warning that since North Korea is not an imminent threat, that is to say there is no reason to believe North Korea is about to attack the United States, there exists no legal justification for preemptive action at all. It's that the president's rhetoric is a primary way that North Korea understands American intentions. Pyongyang's military says the plan would require approval from leader Kim Jong Un.

Guam Governor Eddie Calvo dismissed the threat and said the island was prepared for "any eventuality" with strategically placed defences.

On Jan. 27, Trump made an executive order to create the Nuclear Posture Review, which will analyze the U.S.' nuclear capabilities.

And it's really only - it's been less than a week since the U.N. Security Council took their actions where - these were massive sanctions. And it was a three - it's $3 billion worth of exports of North Korea, over one third, being cut off.

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"Just because the rhetoric goes up, doesn't mean our posture changes", one official said.

On Twitter Wednesday, Trump said he had pushed to "renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal".

Trump issued a presidential memorandum on January 27 that, among other things, directed the secretary of defense to initiate a Nuclear Posture Review "to ensure that the United States nuclear deterrent is modern, robust, flexible, resilient, ready, and appropriately tailored to deter 21st-century threats and reassure our allies". Only after that can officials begin work on upgrading the country's nuclear systems.

On Thursday, North Korean General Kim Rak Gyom said North Korea called Trump's threats "nonsense" and said the North Koreans would have a plan ready by "mid-August" to launch four missiles into waters near the US territory of Guam.

MARTIN: Asked what would be tougher than fire and fury, and the president responded, you'll see.

Neither of the state's two House representatives ― Annie Kuster and Carol Shea-Porter, both Democrats ― support the commission out of concern it would set a risky precedent, spokespeople said. And he's not going to be saying those things.

This morning, North Korea said it was "carefully examining" a plan to strike the United States territory of Guam with ballistic missiles.

While intelligence committee and "Gang of Eight" members report some engagement on North Korea, Democrats say the lack of updates from the White House on the tense situation in the Korean Peninsula is alarming.

"These statements are irresponsible and risky, and also senselessly provide a boon to domestic North Korean propaganda, which has long sought to portray the United States as a threat to their people", the letter read.

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