President Donald Trump justified his saber rattling at North Korea on Monday morning as a necessary break from his predecessors’ failed efforts to contain the increasingly volatile regime.
After tweeting Saturday that ‘only one thing will work,’ Trump repeated his assertion that U.S. tactics, dating back to the presidency of Bill Clinton, have not been effective at halting the development of North Korea’s nuclear program.
‘Our country has been unsuccessfully dealing with North Korea for 25 years, giving billions of dollars & getting nothing. Policy didn’t work!’ he said early this morning in his latest volley at dictator Kim Jong-un.
President Donald Trump justified his saber rattling at North Korea on Monday morning, after saying Saturday (above) that people would know ‘pretty soon’ how he intends to handle the country’s volatile, ruling government
Trump cryptically observed last week that this may be the ‘calm before the storm.’ He has not explained his remark, telling reporters Saturday that there’s ‘nothing to clarify.’
The White House said Friday that Trump was making a ‘general comment’ and did not have a specific country in mind when he made the remark during a photo op with military leaders and their spouses.
His continued commentary on North Korea has raised suspicions that Trump may have been referring to a military conflict with Kim, though.
Trump said Saturday, for instance: ‘Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts of money paid.
‘Hasn’t worked, agreements violated before the ink was dry, making fools of U.S. negotiators. Sorry, but only one thing will work!’
Asked what would constrain North Korea later on, Trump said, ‘Well, you’ll figure that out pretty soon.’
Trump called Kim ‘Little Rocket Man’ in the conversation and reiterated his frustration with previous U.S. presidents, who he said left him ‘a mess’ in North Korea and other foreign policy arenas.
He smacked former Democratic Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama for their appeasing Jong-un’s father, Kim Jong-il, ’cause it’s the same thing.’
The North Korean leaders have the ‘same attitude,’ Trump said, although, ‘I think this one’s the worst of the group.’
Trump sat down for the interview with Huckabee, father to the president’s press secretary, on Thursday. It aired during the first episode of the Republican’s new television show.
The interview occurred hours before Trump said at a jovial photo-op with military brass that the gathering could represent ‘the calm before the storm.’
Friday afternoon, during an event with American manufacturers, Trump was pressed to explain what he meant.
‘You’ll find out,’ he said, winking. On Saturday evening, the president insisted there was ‘nothing to clarify’ as he left the White House on his way to Greensboro for a Republican National Committee fundraiser.
At a White House press briefing on Friday Trump spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders has offered little clarity herself. ‘You’ll have to wait and see,’ she said.
Sanders said that while Trump’s words were vague, he’s not trying to sow confusion.
‘I wouldn’t say necessarily that he’s trying to throw people off, but he’s not trying to broadcast or telegraph his exact actions,’ she said.
‘I think we’ve seen what a failure it is when an administration does that.’
Sanders cautioned that Trump ‘certainly doesn’t want to lay out his game plan for our enemies.’
She also refused to say which to which enemy the president had issued his cryptic warning.
‘We’ve got a lot of bad actors in the world – North Korea, Iran – there’s several examples there,’ she said. ‘I haven’t been specific about anything,’ she said later of the implication that Trump was previewing military action.
Before Trump created a national ‘calm before the storm’ storm, he had been in discussion with top defense officials about the threat from North Korea and how to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
‘In North Korea, our goal is denuclearization,’ he said.
The president on Thursday also had tough words for Iran, saying the country had not lived up to the spirit of an agreement forged with world powers to curb its nuclear program. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is seen in the above file photo
‘We cannot allow this dictatorship to threaten our nation or our allies with unimaginable loss of life. We will do what we must do to prevent that from happening. And it will be done, if necessary, believe me.’
During his speech to the United Nations General Assembly last month, Trump said the United States would ‘totally destroy’ North Korea if needed to defend itself or US allies.
The president had tough words for Iran on Thursday, as well, saying the country had not lived up to the spirit of an agreement forged with world powers to curb its nuclear program.
Without being specific, Trump pressed his staff to hasten in providing him ‘military options’ when needed.
‘I know that government bureaucracy is slow, but I am depending on you to overcome the obstacles of bureaucracy,’ he said during a cabinet room meeting.