Trump was apparently referring to a review of United States nuclear weapons that began earlier this year, which he directed Defense Secretary James Mattis to undertake in a presidential memorandum signed during a January visit to the Pentagon. "He said, 'Woe betide anyone who militarily challenges the United States, ' and that is his portfolio".
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis offered a similarly tough-worded statement Wednesday, saying the North Korean regime should cease any consideration of actions that would "lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people".
A Nuclear Posture Review can "review anything" from how many nuclear weapons you have to what kind they are and how they're configured, Lewis said, and is used to determine the president's future nuclear policy. "That's why we have a department of defense".
Numerous details are secret but if a United States president were ever to order a nuclear strike, we know this: the order would be transmitted to the crew who would fire the missiles in a message 150 characters long - about the same as a tweet. "It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before" - is the latest act of brinkmanship between the US and North Korea. He then added: "Hopefully we will never have to use this power, but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world!".
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters Wednesday that Trump was aiming to use language that Kim Jong Un would understand. Simply put, the video of Trump talking about North Korea almost two decades ago is eerie today, particularly considering Trump's threat to North Korea on Tuesday. "It's just not possible", he said.
Guam Governor Eddie Calvo dismissed the threat and said the island was prepared for "any eventuality" with strategically placed defences.
"Nothing has changed in the capability or power of the nuclear arsenal since President Trump took the Oval Office", he said.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says he doesn't believe there is "any imminent threat" from North Korea, including to the USA territory of Guam. Lindsey Graham says Trump isn't going to just "contain the threat". "The nuclear arsenal is somewhat smaller than it was 201 days ago because we are in the process of reducing nuclear weapons in compliance with the New START Treaty".
Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to Trump, interpreted the president's latest tweet as a warning to Pyongyang.
The president's fiery rhetoric came as tensions mounted between the U.S. and North Korea. "They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen".
"They've been doing this to our country for a long time, for many years", Trump said. "Is this part of diplomatic strategy, or did you find those remarks to be unhelpful?" the reporter asked.
The statement is a direct response to bipartisan criticism of the ultimatum Trump issued to North Korea on Tuesday.
"The words were his own", said Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
The South Korean capital, Seoul, is within range of massed North Korean rockets and artillery, which would be impossible to destroy in a first USA strike. It says its ICBMs are a legitimate means of defense against perceived US hostility, including joint military drills with South Korea.