Americans were understandably put on edge — “Cuban Missile Crisis” trended on Twitter for a reason — following loads of disturbing Tuesday developments on North Korea. The saga began with news that Kim Jong-un’s regime had developed mini-nukes that could fit on their long range missiles. President Trump then vowed that North Korea would be met with “fire and fury like the world has never seen,” and Kim Jong-un responded by mulling over a strike on the U.S. territory of Guam. Well, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is here to reassure everyone that Trump’s threat was filled with fire-and-brimstone for strategic purposes, and he knows of “no imminent threat,” so everything is totally fine at present. Via the AP:
“Americans should sleep well at night … What the president is doing is sending a strong message to North Korea in language that Kim Jong Un can understand, because he doesn’t seem to understand diplomatic language. I think the president just wanted to be clear to the North Korean regime on the U.S. unquestionable ability to defend itself, will defend itself and its allies.”
So, Tillerson’s point is that Trump’s fearsome rhetoric may have sounded more threatening than that of most U.S. presidents, but he only used those words because Kim Jong-un can’t comprehend normal diplomacy? Tillerson isn’t known for forthcoming takes on North Korea, but he might be speaking truth here. Yet it’s difficult to imagine Trump coming to this conclusion on his own. His body language appeared unusually closed-off while he made the statement, and analysts have dug into the matter with relish.
In other news, North Korea has decided to free a detainee (a Canadian pastor) on “sick bail” for “humanitarian” reasons. Related or not? No telling.
With all of that said, Trump tweeted about nukes on Wednesday morning. He boasts that — thanks to him — the U.S. nuclear arsenal is “now far stronger and more powerful than ever before,” all because America is “the most powerful nation in the world.” (However, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who is overseeing nuclear arsenal testing, has stayed quiet on Twitter.)