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August 9, 2017

8-9-2017 Trump just drew his red line on North Korea Nuggets….(Vox)

  • President Trump delivered a threat to North Korea from his vacation home in Bedminster, New Jersey, today, vowing to meet continued threats from the regime with “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” [CNN / Jim Sciutto, Barbara Starr, and Zachary Cohen]
  • The comments are a response to alarming news coming out of North Korea over the past few days, including a promise from the regime to make the US “pay dearly” for economic sanctions, and new reports that North Korea has managed to make nuclear weapons it can launch on missiles. [Washington Post / Joby Warrick, Ellen Nakashima, and Anna Fifield]
  • Trump didn’t elaborate further on what he meant by “fire and fury,” elevating the uncertainty in the war of words between the US and North Korea. [NYT / Peter Baker and Choe Sang-Hun]
  • But to be clear, right now it is just a war of words. Trump is well known for making brash and inflammatory remarks, but there’s no indication from members of his Cabinet that the US is actually preparing to enter war with North Korea. [Vox / Jennifer Williams]
  • As a matter of fact, last week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters the US does not plan on deposing Kim Jong Un or using military force against him. [Associated Press]
  • And Trump’s own statement today has some truth to it; if North Korea preemptively attacked the US or one of its allies, it would be quickly wiped out. [The Atlantic / Mark Bowden]
  • Kim knows this, and some experts say North Korea’s rhetoric is more a sign that it’s trying to be taken seriously on the world stage with threats. [BBC]
  • But now that Trump has drawn a “red line” over North Korea’s rhetoric, he’s put himself in a bind. Empty threats in the face of an erratic regime with nuclear weapons are also problematic. [Jim Sciutto via Twitter]

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