In a joint press conference this week with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Trump confirmed that the U.S. would be ready if forced to use a military option in North Korea and that result for North Korea would be “devastating.”
Members of Trump’s administration have said previously that the United States had a military option prepared, but we’re trying every other technique to get North Korea to cooperate.
Tensions between the two nations have been escalating, especially after last month when Tump said that threats from North Korea will be met with “fire and fury,” and North Korea launched multiple ballistic missiles over Japan followed by its sixth nuclear test.
Unlike his “fire and fury” comment, this week Trump said that the United States is preparing for more than diplomacy.
“We are totally prepared for a second option, not a preferred option, but if we take that option it will be devastating for North Korea,” Trump said. “That’s called the ‘military option.'”
Trump took a familiar tone this week, blaming past administrations for a problem he said should have been dealt with decades prior.
“North Korea is a situation that should have been handled 25 years ago, 20 years ago, 15 years ago, 10 years ago and five years ago and it could have been handled much more easily,” Trump said. “There are many administrations which left me a mess, but I’ll fix the mess.”
Trump continued with remarks regarding the rhetoric he has seen from Kim Jong-Un and Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea.
“He’s acting very badly,” Trump said. “He’s saying things that should never ever be said and we are replying to those things.”
The back and forth between leaders has recently heated up as Trump has gone back to one of his campaign tactics of public name-calling, even using the United Nations as a stage to call Jong-Un “rocket man.” Jong-Un responded by calling Tump a dotard, or literally translated from Korean as an “old lunatic.”
Despite the name calling, representatives from many countries are still going through the motions of finding a diplomatic solution. The United Nations recently passed new sanctions on North Korea restricting trade and joint ventures with countries and government entities. The United States placed sanctions on eight North Korean businesses in response to the nuclear threats.