(BEDMINSTER, N.J.) — The war of words between the U.S. and North Korea continued on Saturday.
“If the Trump administration does not want the American empire to meet its tragic doom in its tenure, they had better talk and act properly,” North Korea said in a statement distributed through state-run media.
Continuing to take aim at President Donald Trump’s remarks, the statement read, “Of late, the president and other riffraff of the U.S. are trumpeting about ‘military option’ against the DPRK, claiming that they ‘will not rule out a war.’ Meanwhile, they introduce huge strategic nuclear assets into the Korean peninsula, staging reckless nuclear war games and rendering the regional situation extremely tense.”
“The U.S. has done all sorts of wrongs to the DPRK, styling itself the ‘only superpower’ in the eyes of the world,” the statement continued. “But now it finds itself in an ever-worsening dilemma, being thrown into the grip of extreme security unrest by the DPRK. This is tragicomedy of its own making.”
The North Korean military is “capable of fighting any war the U.S. wants, is now on the standby to launch fire into its mainland, waiting for an order of final attack,” the rogue nation said in its statement.
North Korea’s statement follows the president’s warning Friday to North Korea about its threats against the United States, saying of that country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, he “will not get away with what he’s doing.”
“If he utters one threat in the form of an overt threat — which, by the way, he has been uttering for years, and his family has been uttering for years — or if he does anything with respect to Guam or anyplace else that’s an American territory or an American ally, he will truly regret it, and he will regret it fast,” said Trump.
Speaking later on Friday, Trump reassured residents of the U.S. territory in the western Pacific. “I feel they will be very safe,” he said. “Believe me, they will be very safe. And if anything happens to Guam, there’s going to be big, big trouble in North Korea.”
Trump has spent much of the first week of his 17-day working vacation sparring with the hostile Asian nation. His comment warning Kim against making further threats comes as North Korea claims to be preparing plans to attack the U.S. territory of Guam. One of its military leaders also called Trump “bereft of reason” and said he was “extremely getting on the nerves” of its armed forces.
“Only absolute force can work on him,” said General Kim Rak Gyom, the commander of the North Korean military’s Strategic Rocket Forces, of Trump, on Wednesday.
Trump has said America will respond to North Korean threats with “fire and fury,” and later that the “fire and fury” rhetoric “wasn’t tough enough.”
But he refused to say Thursday whether he was considering any pre-emptive measures against North Korea.
On Friday, Trump indicated that he believed he was sending a clear message to North Korea.
“I hope that they are going to fully understand the gravity of what I said, and what I said is what I mean,” said Trump, adding, “Those words are very, very easy to understand.”
Also on Friday, Trump spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping and “affirmed that the recent adoption of a new United Nations Security Council resolution regarding North Korea was an important and necessary step toward achieving peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula,” according to a readout of the conversation provided by the White House.
“President Trump and President Xi agreed North Korea must stop its provocative and escalatory behavior,” the readout continued. “The presidents also reiterated their mutual commitment to denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
And according to China Central Television, Xi said of the call, “At present, the relevant parties must maintain restraint and avoid words and deeds that would exacerbate the tension on the Korean Peninsula.”
Trump additionally responded Friday to reports that a U.S. official has been involved in back-channel diplomatic efforts with North Korea lasting several months.
“We don’t want to talk about back channels,” said Trump. “We want to talk about a country that has misbehaved for many, many years — decades, actually.”
He added, “We’ll either be very, very successful quickly, or we’re going to be very, very successful in a different way, quickly.”
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