Authorities say a stowaway on a flight from the Dominican Republic to Miami was spotted emerging from the plane's wheel well and sent back home. U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Mike Silva said Monday the man was a Dominican national. Silva said Miami-Dade Police spotted him exiting the wheel well after American Airlines flight 1026 from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, landed Saturday at Miami International Airport. Police detained the man, whose name wasn't released. Silva said he was medically cleared, processed as a stowaway by federal authorities and returned to the Dominican Republic. Silva said local and federal authorities searched the plane and cleared it to resume normal operations. Airline spokesman Ross Feinstein said the airline was reviewing the incident with Las Americas International Airport officials. www.presenciard.net says that a Miami's authorities report had identified the stowaway as Siomi Santos, a 26 years old.
U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Tuesday, as tensions around North Korea show signs of alleviating.
Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 53 points, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 5.5 points and 17.75 points, respectively.
Stocks posted sharp gains on Monday, with the information technology sector closing at a record high, and were set for their third straight day of gains. Last week, stocks posted their second-worst weekly performance of the year, with the S&P falling 1.43 percent.
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un stated that he would hold fire on making a decision surrounding a missile strike on Guam. Kim is reportedly looking for future actions by the U.S. before making a decision, Reuters reported citing the KCNA.
Investors also sold safe havens like gold and U.S. Treasurys. Gold futures for December delivery fell 0.87 percent to $1,279.20 per ounce. The benchmark 10-year note yield rose to 2.257 percent.
Aside from politics, a whole slew of data is set to be released on Tuesday, with retail sales, import and export price indexes and the Empire State manufacturing survey all due out at 8:30 a.m. ET.
Later on in the day, business inventories and the NAHB/Wells Fargo housing market index will come out at 10 a.m. ET, followed by Treasury International Capital (TIC) data, due out at 4 p.m. ET.
On the earnings front, Home Depot posted better-than-expected quarterly results. The stock initially popped on the news, but later traded 0.3 percent lower. Alexandra Gibbs / @alexgibbsy
Politicians from all sides have rounded on Donald Trump for failing explicitly to condemn white supremacy groups or use the term domestic terrorism after a woman was killed when a car smashed into anti-racism protesters at the weekend. The US Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation into the death.
On Saturday the president condemned hatred and violence “on many sides” in his remarks, but did not directly single out the white supremacists, whose attempt to hold a major rally in Charlottesville, Virginia resulted in the governor, Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, calling a state of emergency. Disorder including clashes with counterprotesters left more than 30 injured.
The woman who was killed by the car that ploughed into counter-protesters was named as 32-year-old Heather Heyer, a legal assistant who had repeatedly championed civil rights issues on social media.
A 20-year-old man, James Fields, of Maumee, Ohio, has been charged with her murder. On Sunday photographs taken earlier on Saturday surfaced that showed Fields standing with a neo-Nazi group and holding a shield emblazoned with a far-right emblem.
The failure of Trump to directly blame white supremacists, after some had marched through Charlottesville’s streets shouting, “Hail Trump” while making Nazi salutes, has prompted harsh criticism. Many are urging for the president to make his condemnation more specific, including leading Republicans such as senators Marco Rubio and Cory Gardner and New Jersey’s governor Chris Christie, as well as a slew of Democrats.
Gardner tweeted: “Mr President, we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism.” Rubio tweeted there was “nothing patriotic about Nazis ,the #KKK or #WhiteSupremacists It’s the direct opposite of what #America seeks to be.”
Christie, a staunch Trump supporter, wrote: “We reject the racism and violence of white nationalists like the ones acting out in Charlottesville. Everyone in leadership must speak out.”
On Sunday morning talk shows, Tom Bossert, the White House homeland security adviser, defended the president’s statement by suggesting that some of the counterprotesters had also been violent, and only when pressed did he specifically condemn the racist groups.
The White House responded to the criticism on Sunday with a statement that said the president had “said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry, and hatred. Of course that includes white supremacists, KKK Neo-Nazi and all extremist groups. He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together.”.
The White House statement was followed hours later by even tougher rhetoric against white nationalists from vice-president Mike Pence. “We have no tolerance for hate and violence from white supremacists, neo Nazis or the KKK,” Pence said on a visit to Colombia. “These dangerous fringe groups have no place in American public life and in the American debate, and we condemn them in the strongest possible terms.”
Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and also a White House aide, meanwhile, did criticise the groups directly, tweeting, “There should be no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-nazis.”
Trump is on a 17-day “working vacation” at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, but is sure to face questions about his response and views on white supremacists when he next speaks to journalists publicly.
The president’s short-lived communications chief, Anthony Scaramucci, also added his voice to the criticism of Trump’s response , and speculated about the future of Steven Bannon, the White House chief adviser who previously served as the executive chairman of the far-right news site Breitbart. On ABC’s This Morning with George Stephanopoulos, Scaramucci said of Trump’s Saturday comments from Bedminster: “I wouldn’t have recommended that statement.” He added, “I think he would have needed to have been much harsher.”
Scaramucci continued: “With the moral authority of the presidency, you have to call that stuff out,” He went on to say there’s “this sort of “Bannon-bart” influence” in the White House that “is a snag on the president.” When asked by Stephanopoulos if that influence stemmed from Bannon, Scaramucci replied, “I think the president knows what he’s going to do with Steve Bannon.”
Hundreds of white nationalists marched through Charlottesville on Friday evening and onto the campus of the University of Virginia there, bearing torches and chanting, “You will not replace us.” Then they gathered again on Saturday morning, some carrying KKK and Confederate flags, to converge on a local park.
The white nationalists had assembled in Charlottesville to vent their frustration over the city’s plans to take down a statue of Confederate general Robert E Lee. Many were armed with clubs, wearing paramilitary garb and chanting antisemitic and racist slogans and epithets as they converged on a public park while local police looked on.
Counter-protesters massed in opposition, and a few hours after violent encounters between the two groups, a car drove into a crowd of people peacefully protesting the rally. “Alt-right” activist Richard Spencer and former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke attended the demonstrations.
Two Virginia state troopers died when their helicopter, which had been flying above the demonstrations, crashed in woods nearby.
Speaking on Sunday, also on CNN, Charlottesville’s mayor, Michael Signer, said: “There are a bunch of folks in the hospital. This is a city that’s grieving. These were people that didn’t need to die.”
Asked whether Trump should bear any responsibility for the rise in openly racist, white nationalist sentiment and displays, Signer, a Democrat, said: “Look at the campaign he ran. Look at the intentional courting of these white nationalist groups and the repeated failure to silence all those different efforts [to bring people together], just like we saw yesterday.”
Added Signer: “There are two words that need to be said over and over: domestic terrorism and white supremacy, and we are not seeing leadership from the White House on this.”
Tom Bossert, the White House homeland security adviser, spoke about the possibility of the death penalty in connection with the killing of Heyer. Speaking to CNN’s State of the Union, he said: “There is a civil rights investigation. We will see where the facts take us. He has been charged with second-degree murder and that could carry a much stiffer penalty if there is evidence to support a civil rights abuse or a hate crime. That could bring the death penalty.”
Later on Sunday afternoon in downtown Charlottesville, “Unite the Right” rally organiser Jason Kessler attempted to hold a press conference with “alt right” activist leader Richard Spencer. The two had earlier distanced themselves from the accused killer, James Field.
As soon as Kessler emerged in the forecourt of Charlottesville’s city hall, a crowd of more than 300 people who had gathered along with the waiting media began yelling insults at the men. At the microphones, Kessler became increasingly animated but was completely inaudible.
After a few minutes, a crowd of anti-far-right protestors rushed the improvised podium. Kessler fled and made his escape with the protection of waiting state police in riot gear. Behind the line of police, the crowd resumed chanting, “Nazis go home” and “we are unstoppable another world is possible”.
After about 15 minutes when it was clear Kessler had left the downtown area, police and the crowd dispersed. In a nearby ice cream shop, Joe Montoya, a local resident who had been vociferous in the crowd, said he was glad that the city had prevented Kessler from speaking. “This is what our town is like,” he said.
“Charlottesville is a diverse place,” Montoya said. “We come together at times like this. Love wins”
Donald Trump’s father, Fred Trump, is widely believed to have had links to, or at least been an enthusiastic supporter of, the Ku Klux Klan. He was arrested at a Klan rally in New York City in 1927.
The first mention of Donald Trump in the New York Times appears to have been in 1973 when, as president of the Trump Management Corporation that controlled thousands of New York City rental apartments , he countersued the federal government after it accused his family’s company of racial discrimination.
Despite fighting back fiercely, the Trumps with the aid of notorious attorney Roy Cohn, were eventually obliged to alter their renting policies.
A pair of Virginia State Police pilots were killed in a helicopter crash while keeping tabs on the violent clashes in Virginia on Saturday.
The helicopter was hovering near the white nationalist rally when it crashed into a wooded area on Old Farm Road around 5 p.m., just outside the city of Charlottesville, police said.
Virginia State Police confirmed that pilots Lt. H. Jay Cullen, 48, of Midlothian, and Berke M.M. Bates, 40, of Quinton, died in the wreck.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe said he had known both pilots since 2014.
Trump doesn't rebuke white nationalists in Charlottesville speech Pilots Lt. Jay Cullen, 48, (l.), and Berke M.M. Bates, 40, (r.) died in a helicopter crash while monitoring the violent clashes in Charlottesville, Va. Pilots Lt. Jay Cullen, 48, (l.), and Berke M.M. Bates, 40, (r.) died in a helicopter crash while monitoring the violent clashes in Charlottesville, Va. (VIRGINIA STATE POLICE) “We are deeply saddened by the loss of Jay and Berke, both of whom were our close friends and trusted members of our team,” McAuliffe said in a statement.
“Jay has flown us across the commonwealth for more than three and a half years,” the governor added.
“Berke was devoted to our entire family as part of our Executive Protective Unit team for the past three years.”
The chopper went down on Old Farm Road, just outside Charlottesville.
Cullen spent more than two decades with the state force and is survived by a wife and two sons, official said.
Hundreds gather ahead of planned ‘Unite the Right’ rally at Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, as activists with Confederate flags face counter-protest
Violent clashes erupted between far-right nationalists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, prompting the governor to declare a state of emergency.
The unrest came ahead of scheduled a “Unite the Right” rally at the city’s Emancipation Park. Riot police at the scene were trying to restore order after fighting broke out between the two groups. Several people have been hurt in the disorder and there have been a number of arrests.
The governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, declared a state of emergency while police declared an unlawful assembly alert.
The clashes came despite police efforts to keep the rival protesters apart following a confrontation late Friday in the University of Virginia’s campus in which counter-protesters claimed they were hit by torches and pepper spray.
On Saturday at the park, projectiles were thrown between the groups and some of those present could be seen pushing and throwing punches, or using pepper spray.
Police in riot gear were assembled nearby and initially stayed back from where the trouble was occurring.
By 11.15am ET, missiles such as empty bottles were being exchanged at the south-east end of the park. Far-right supporters formed a “Roman tortoise” shield wall at the gate. Counter-protesters cleared when a gas weapon was released.
Shortly later, smoke grenades were launched from the park into the crowd of counter-protesters. On both occasions, those in the street beat a hasty and uncoordinated retreat.
At around 11:40am ET, after almost an hour of missile exchanges, gas attacks and intermittent face to face melees, police declared the Unite the Right assembly illegal and cleared the park with riot troops. Largely the far right groups were compliant, but they were forced to run the gauntlet of counter-protesters as they walked west along Market Street.
Counter-protesters faced far-right activists in Charlottesville. Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Reuters After a brief stalemate, it was understood protesters were regrouping in McIntire Park, about two miles away.
The local rightwing activist and former Daily Caller writer Jason Kessler organized the Unite the Right event, planned to involve speeches from leading “alt-right” ideologues including Richard Spencer, the podcaster Mike Peinovich, AKA “Mike Enoch”, and Matthew Heimbach, leader of the Traditionalist Workers party.
Earlier, amid heightened tensions, protesters and counter-protesters had begun arriving in force at the park, where police were supervising the construction of barricades around a 20ft statue of the Confederate general Robert E Lee, which is the focus of the rally, and has been at the centre of other recent confrontations in Charlottesville.
With a police helicopter buzzing overheard, successive groups of mostly young men, carrying Confederate flags, rune banners, “Kekistan” flags and other racist symbols entered via the south-east and south-west ends of the park.
They then passed through gaps left in the barricades surrounding the protest and the Robert E Lee statue which it claims to be defending.
The passage of the far-right groups was watched over by Virginia state police, Charlottesville police officers, and armed “Three Percent” militia members, who were dressed in fatigues and open-carrying rifles.
Facing them on Market Street were counter-protesters, many marching under the red and black banners of antifascist organizations.
The south-east entrance was briefly blocked by a group of about 20 clergy members, including Cornel West, who linked arms across the top of the stairs to the park.
The Rev Seth Wispelwey, of Sojourners United Church of Christ in Charlottesville, said of the group: “We’re here to counteract white supremacy, and to let people know that it is a system of evil and a system of sin.”
Just before 11am, a formation of around 200 people comprising members of the neo-Confederate League of the South, the Traditionalist Workers party and National Socialist Movement were briefly halted by protesters before moving towards the south-east gate. One of their number was seen to mace a young female protester who approached the group. By the time they made it in, there were well over 500 far right protesters in the park, with around 1,000 counter-protesters in the street.
Statue controversy A man wearing a ‘Three Percent’ badge joins the far-right rally in Charlottesville. Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Reuters
In February, the city council narrowly voted to remove and sell the Robert E Lee statue, and to rename the park in which it stands from Lee Park to Emancipation Park. This was the culmination of a campaign to remove the statue started by a local high school student, Zyahna Bryant.
It was part of a wave of such removals of Confederate monuments across the south, which began after Dylann Roof massacred nine African American churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina.
In response, last May, Richard Spencer led a torchlit white nationalist parade around the park. Then, on 8 July, about 50 members of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan held a rally in the park, and were greeted by around 1,000 counter-protesters. The day ended in turmoil after police used tear gas on some counter-protesters following the Klan’s departure, and made 23 arrests. (Jason Wilson)
SEOUL —The saber-rattling from both North Korea and the Trump administration has many people worried that the world is on the brink of a nuclear war, says Anna Fifield in a report published by The Washington Post on Friday.
Kim Jong Un’s regime is threatening to fire a missile to land near Guam, the American territory in the Pacific Ocean that is home to two huge U.S. military bases, by the middle of this month. He seems to have the technical capacity to make good on this threat: his regime has made observable progress in its missile program, notably firing two intercontinental ballistic missiles last month theoretically capable of reaching the American mainland.
President Trump has issued tough warnings to North Korea in response. In his latest statement, on Thursday, he warned North Korea that “things will happen to them like they never thought possible” should the isolated country attack the United States or its allies.
Trump: ‘Fire and fury’ comments on North Korea ‘may not be tough enough’
President Trump on Aug. 10 said threats he made to North Korea two days earlier about facing the “fire and fury” of the U.S. “may not be tough enough.” (The Washington Post) There have been many periods of heightened tensions between the two countries over the years, especially in April and August, when South Korea and the United States conducted joint military exercises that North Korea considered preparation for an invasion.
The Washington Post asked a range of experts in both the United States and South Korea if this time was any different. How worried should we be about conflict breaking out, accidental or otherwise? Here are their replies.
Pyongyang says it will launch four missiles into waters ‘30-40km’ off US territory in Pacific Ocean
North Korea has defied threats of “fire and fury” from Donald Trump, deriding his warning as a “load of nonsense” and announcing a detailed plan to launch missiles aimed at the waters off the coast of the US Pacific territory of Guam.
A statement attributed to General Kim Rak Gyom, the head of the country’s strategic forces, declared: “Sound dialogue is not possible with such a guy bereft of reason and only absolute force can work on him”. The general outlined a plan to carry out a demonstration launch of four intermediate-range missiles that would fly over Japan and then land in the sea around Guam, “enveloping” the island.
“The Hwasong-12 rockets to be launched by the KPA [Korean People’s Army] will cross the sky above Shimani, Hiroshima and Koichi prefectures of Japan,” the statement said. “They will fly for 3,356.7 km for 1,065 seconds and hit the waters 30 to 40km away from Guam.”
The statement said the plan for this show of force would be ready by the middle of this month and then await orders from the commander-in-chief, Kim Jong-un.
The statement was clearly designed as a show of bravado, calling the Trump administration’s bluff after the president’s threat and a statement from the defence secretary, James Mattis, both stressing the overwhelming power of the US military. “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met by fire and fury like the world has never seen,” Trump said on Wednesday.
The response from Pyongyang was its most public and detailed threat to date, and evidently meant to goad the US president. Trump had “let out a load of nonsense about ‘fire and fury’ failing to grasp the ongoing grave situation. This is extremely getting on the nerves of the infuriated Hwasong artillerymen of the KPA.”
The US has a naval base in Guam and the island is home to Andersen air base, which has six B-1B heavy bombers. According to NBC news the non-nuclear bombers have made 11 practice sorties since May in readiness for a potential strike on North Korea. The remote island is home to 162,000 people.
South Korea’s military said on Thursday that North Korea’s statements were a challenge against Seoul and the US-South Korea alliance. Joint chiefs of staff spokesman Roh Jae-cheon told a media briefing that South Korea was prepared to act immediately against any North Korean provocation.
Japan’s chief government spokesman said the country could “never tolerate this”. “North Korea’s actions are obviously provocative to the region as well as to the security of the international community,” Yoshihide Sug said.
North Koreans stage mass rally to denounce UN sanctions – video The announcement on the North Korean state news service KCNA came at the end of two days of brinksmanship which began with the leak of a US intelligence report that Pyongyang had developed a nuclear warhead small enough to put on a missile. This was followed by Trump’s warning of “fire and fury”. On Wednesday the US defence secretary, James Mattis, said a North Korean attack would risk the “end of its regime and the destruction of its people”.
On Thursday, Trump’s deputy assistant, Sebastian Gorka, declined to tone down the rhetoric, warning Pyongyang: “Do not challenge the United States because you will pay a cost if you do so”
Asked if the threat of a strike, rather than an actual attack, would be enough to provoke a response, Gorka told the BBC: “If you threaten a nation, then what should you expect; a stiffly worded letter to be sent by courier? Is that what the UK would do if a nation threatened a nuclear-tipped missile launched against any of the UK’s territories?”
Damian Green, the UK’s first secretary of state, urged the Trump administration to use UN processes to resolve the crisis. “It’s obviously in all our interests to make sure that nothing escalates,” Green said on a visit to Edinburgh. “We are very strongly in support of the UN process, which has and continues to put pressure on North Korea to stop acting in an irresponsible way.”
In the event of a missile launch by North Korea, the US military faces the dilemma of trying to intercept the incoming missiles and risking humiliation if it fails. Trump would have to decide whether to try to carry out a pre-emptive strike on the Hwasong launchpads or a retaliation strike if the launch went ahead. The North Korean military has frequently tested missiles that land in the sea off the Japanese coast, without a military response from Tokyo.
“For the [North Koreans] to telegraph a move like this is extraordinary. But it’s probably their way of trying not to trigger a war,” said Joshua Pollack, a senior research associate at Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. He said that if the launch went ahead as laid out in the statement, legal restrictions on shooting down missile tests might not apply.
“The reason you can’t shoot down a test is that it doesn’t enter a defended area. But that wouldn’t be the case with ‘bracketing fire’,” Pollack said in a thread of tweets. He argued that the exchange of threats and the missile plans underlined the need to open a military hotline between the US and North Korea to mitigate the dangers of catastrophic miscalculation by either side.
“If they do carry out that plan, both sides might discover that they need a crisis management mechanism sooner than not,” Pollack said.
Mattis’s reminder to Pyongyang that the allied militaries “possess the most precise, rehearsed and robust defensive and offensive capabilities on Earth” capped an unprecedented 24 hours of sabre-rattling sparked by Donald Trump’s surprise threat to rain “fire and fury” down on the Pyongyang regime.
Despite the harsh rhetoric, there was no change in US military deployments or alert status. Mattis couched his remarks in the language of traditional deterrence, making clear that such overwhelming force would be used in the event of a North Korean attack.
God save us from Donald Trump's fire and fury
Trump – without consulting his own security staff – had warned of a devastating onslaught “like the world has never seen” if Kim’s government persisted in threats against the US. But that line was crossed within hours when Pyongyang announced it was “carefully examining” a plan for a missile strike and “enveloping fire” around Guam.
The US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, also spent much of Wednesday struggling to contain the fallout from Trump’s threats, assuring Americans they could “sleep well at night”, and reassuring shocked allies that there was “no imminent threat of war”.
North Korea is reviewing plans to strike U.S. military targets in Guam with its medium-range ballistic missiles to create “enveloping fire,” according to state media, The Washington Post says Wednesday.
The message came hours after President Trump warned North Korea that it will be “met with fire and fury and, frankly, power, the likes of which this world has never seen before” if the country does not stop threatening the United States.
A child plays on a beach in Guam’s capital, Hagatna, in July. (AFP)
The threats follow a unanimous vote by the U.N. Security Council to impose strict new sanctions on North Korea. North Korea’s state media have often warned of strikes against the United States, but the threats are usually vague and do not typically include targets this specific, the Wall Street Journal said. That Kim Jong Un is eyeing Guam, the sovereign U.S. territory with a strategic airfield and naval station, is no surprise to the 160,000 Guamanians on the island. “Every time there is some saber rattling in the part of the world, Guam is always part of the occasion,” said Robert F. Underwood, the president of the University of Guam and the island’s former delegate to the House of Representatives.
“When you’re from Guam and live on Guam, it’s disconcerting, but not unusual,” Underwood told The Washington Post.
Governor of Guam says no change in threat level from North Korea
The governor of Guam, Eddie Baza Calvo, said Aug. 9, there had been “no change in the threat level to Guam,” after North Korea and President Trump traded threats. (Eddie Baza Calvo) The governor of Guam, Eddie Baza Calvo, posted an address early Wednesday morning on YouTube, telling island residents not to worry. “I know we woke up to media reports of North Korea’s talk of revenge on the United States and this so-called newfound technology that allows them to target Guam,” the governor said. “I'm working with Homeland Security, the rear admiral and United States to ensure our safety, and I want to reassure the people of Guam that currently there is no threat to our island or the Marianas.” Calvo said “there is no change in the threat level resulting from North Korea events” and that “there are several levels of defense, all strategically placed to protect our island and our nation.” Noting that “Guam is American soil” and that “an attack or threat on Guam is an attack or threat on the United States,” Calvo said he had reached out to the White House, and that American officials have assured him that the island “will be defended.”
“With that said, I want to ensure that we are prepared for any eventuality,” Calvo said, adding that he is convening a group “to discuss the state of readiness of our military and our local first responders.” “May God bless the people of Guam, and may God bless the United States of America,” he concluded. [‘I’m worried about moose, not missiles.’ Alaskans on North Korea threat: Shrug] At about 4,000 miles west of Hawaii, and 2,200 miles southeast of North Korea, Guam is on the edge of U.S. power in the Pacific. Its combined Navy and Air Force installation, Joint Region Marianas, is the home port for nuclear submarines, a contingent of Special Operations Forces and the launching point of flights for strategic bombers conducting rotational flights over Japanese territories and in the Korean Peninsula. Guam has been a strategic linchpin since Spain relinquished control to the U.S. Navy following the Spanish-American War in 1898. Japanese forces sped to the island following the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 and captured it, subjecting its people to violence that some historians estimate to have killed 10 percent of its population.
The island just celebrated its 73rd Liberation Day, commemorating the start of the U.S.-led effort to liberate Guam on July 10, 1944, Underwood said. Now, the island paradise relies on tourism and military activity to buoy its economy, which is marked by high unemployment.
There have been recent efforts to grant Guam more control over its government, including support from the United Nations. Guamanians cannot vote for president in the U.S. elections, but they do vote for party delegates in primaries and have a nonvoting delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives. Robert E. Kelly, an expert on North Korea at Pusan National University in South Korea, said the North Koreans always respond to threats with the “most outlandish rhetoric,” but that Pyongyang also knows that attacking the United States would be suicidal. “They’re not apocalyptic ideologues like Osama bin Laden, willing to risk everything on some suicide gamble,” Kelly said.
President Trump warned North Korea on Tuesday to stop its belligerent behavior against the US or face “fire and fury,” the New York Post's Mark Moore report Wednesday.
“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” Trump said.
“He has been very threatening beyond a normal state, and as I said, they will be met with the fire and fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before,” the president added in reference to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Trump made the comments to reporters at his Bedminster, NJ, golf resort before a briefing on opioid addiction.
Kim’s regime has been making increasingly hostile statements against the US, including a threat to launch a nuclear strike against the US if it is attacked militarily.
On Tuesday, the stakes increased when The Washington Post reported the Defense Intelligence Agency has determined that Kim has developed the capability to produce a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles.
That report follows another government study that calculates North Korea now controls as many as 60 nuclear weapons.
The findings show that Pyongyang’s efforts to develop a long-range missile capable of carrying a nuclear weapon with enough range to strike the US mainland is progressing more rapidly than experts had predicted.
Trump had vowed not to allow North Korea to cross the nuclear threshold. “It won’t happen!” he wrote on Twitter on Jan. 2.
The White House has flexed its military muscle by dispatching warships to the waters off the Korean peninsula and by sending two B-1 bombers to fly over South Korea after North Korea’s test launch on July 28. The president also has pushed China, North Korea’s main trading partner, to pressure Kim to rein in his weapons programs but has been frustrated by what he called Beijing’s lack of effort.
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley called newly imposed UN sanctions against North Korea a “gut punch” and warned the regime of possible military action if it continues developing weapons.
The UN Security Council voted unanimously Saturday to impose severe economic sanctions on North Korea for launching two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July. The ban on exports of coal, iron and seafood products was expected to cost Kim’s government about $1 billion a year and is intended to starve the country’s weapon-development program.