President Donald Trump refused to back down Friday from a comment he tweeted earlier in the day that military solutions to the impasse with North Korea are “locked and loaded.”
During a media event called to discuss the Trump administration’s efforts to increase apprenticeships, Trump was asked about the crisis with North Korea, which has said it is drafting plans for an attack on Guam.
“We are looking at that very carefully and I hope they are going to fully understand the gravity of what I said, and what I said is what I mean,” Trump said during the event at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club. “So hopefully they will understand … exactly what I said and the meaning of those words. Those words are very, very easy to understand.”
“Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely,” Trump had tweeted earlier Friday. “Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!”
Military solutions are now fully in place,locked and loaded,should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 11, 2017
Trump was asked how he would respond to critics who have attacked his Tuesday remark that North Korea would face “fire and fury” as an inflammatory statement.
“Well, you know, my critics are only saying that because it’s me. If somebody else uttered the exact same words that I uttered, they’d say, ‘What a great statement, what a wonderful statement,’” Trump said.
“We have tens of millions of people in this country that are so happy with what I’m saying — because they’re saying, finally we have a President that’s sticking up for our nation and, frankly, sticking up for our friends and our allies.”
Trump vowed to win the war of wills over North Korea’s missile program.
“And this man will not get away with what he’s doing, believe me. And if he utters one threat, in the form of an overt threat — which, by the way, he has been uttering for years, and his family has been uttering for years — or if he does anything with respect to Guam, or anyplace else that’s an American territory or an American ally, he will truly regret it and he will regret it fast,” Trump said.
Amid reports that U.S. and North Korean officials are communicating through diplomatic backchannels, Trump said, “we don’t want to talk about backchannels.”
“We want to talk about a country that has misbehaved for many, many years, decades actually, through numerous administrations and they didn’t want to take on the issue and I had no choice but to take it on, and I’m taking it on. And we’ll either be very, very successful quickly or we’re going to be very, very successful in a different way, quickly,” Trump said.
Asked about a comment from German Chancellor Angela Merkel that there was no military solution to the North Korean crisis, Trump bristled.
“Maybe she’s speaking for Germany, let her speak for Germany. She’s a friend of mine, she’s a very good person, a very good woman, she’s a friend of Ivanka. Perhaps she is referring to Germany. She’s certainly not referring to the United States, that I can tell you,” he said. (For more from the author of “Trump: If Kim Attacks Guam ‘He Will Regret It Fast'” please click HERE)