President Donald Trump wrote online Friday that plans for military action against North Korea are “locked and loaded,” urging North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un to “find another path” amid escalating tensions on both sides of the Pacific.
“Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!” the president wrote on Twitter Friday morning.
Trump’s threats against North Korea have escalated this week, with the president warning on Tuesday that the Kim regime would face “fire and fury like the world has never seen” if it continues its threatening behavior towards the U.S. Trump doubled down on that rhetoric Thursday, telling reporters that perhaps his “fire and fury” threat “wasn’t tough enough.”
The president’s stepped-up rhetoric has come in response to seeming advancements in North Korea toward its long-held goal of obtaining a nuclear weapon capable of striking the U.S. In recent weeks, Pyongyang has tested ballistic missiles that could have the capability to hit the continental U.S., news that has been compounded by reports of U.S. intelligence agency assessments that the Kim regime already possesses a nuclear warhead small enough to fit inside one of those missiles.
In response to the president’s Tuesday warning of “fire and fury,” which North Korea dismissed as “a load of nonsense,” the Kim regime also threatened to surround the Pacific island of Guam, the U.S. territory with a significant military presence that is perhaps most vulnerable to a North Korean attack, with an “enveloping fire.”