After threatening the hermit kingdom with "fire and fury" earlier this week, Trump warned North Korea to "get their act together" on Thursday from his golf property in Bedminster, New Jersey. According to the Associated Press, Trump told journalists that if it didn't heed his warning, it will be in trouble "like few nations have ever been."
Trump appeared in Bedminster following a lunch with Vice President Mike Pence to warn North Korea that if it "did anything" to the United States or any of its allies, “things will happen to them like they never thought possible.” In making these remarks, the president suggested that his Tuesday ultimatum “wasn’t tough enough.”
“They’ve been doing this to our country for a long time, for many years, and it’s about time that somebody stuck up for the people of this country and for the people of other countries,” Trump said, dismissing people who found his Tuesday statement too combative. “We’re backed 100 percent by our military, we’re back by everybody and we’re backed by many other leaders.”
Trump's Thursday comments were the latest in an ongoing exchange of threats between Washington and Pyongyang. Shortly after Trump threatened North Korea with "fury and fire like the world has never seen," the isolated country responded by planning a nuclear strike on American military targets in Guam. According to The Washington Post, North Korea has made threats against the United States in the past, but none have been this specific.
In addition to doubling down on previous threats, Trump did not rule out the possibility of a preemptive strike on North Korea. "We'll see what happens," Trump told reporters. Nonetheless, he also did not rule out continued negotiations, but argued that “they’ve been negotiating now for 25 years.”
On Saturday, the United Nations Security Council unanimously voted to impose new sanctions on North Korea. This means that China and Russia both voted in favor of the sanctions, despite criticizing the United States for deploying its Terminal High Attitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile defense system in South Korea. Trump, in turn, lauded China and Russia for supporting the sanctions, but he told reporters that the sanctions would probably "not be as effective as a lot of people think it can be, unfortunately.”
Finally, Trump put pressure on China to take further action against its neighbor and trading partner, North Korea. China “can do a lot more, and I think will do a lot more," Trump said. Pyongyang has not yet responded to Trump's latest remarks.