How serious is Trump when he says North Korea "best not" threaten America? Are we headed into World War III?
The decades long hostility between the United States and North Korea escalated this week after President Trump threatened the nation with a statement so elementary, even fellow Republican John McCain voiced his confusion.
Trump told reporters from his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., “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.”
Needless to say, the internet erupted in memes and posts about Trump's viral threat – but hilarious tweets aside, here's what you need to know about our relationship with the shuttered nation:
- The volatile relationship between the United States and North Korea has been rising in recent years. North Korea and its government news agency have warned the U.S against any pre-emptive attack. After Trump’s statement, Pyongyang issued a strike warning that it would create an enveloping fire around Guam, a Pacific Island with an important U.S Air Force Base.
- Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson tried to minimize the conflict, “I think Americans should sleep well at night, have no concerns about this particular rhetoric of the last few days.”
- North Korea has been building and testing nuclear missiles for some time now. Last year, Pyongyang released a photo of Kim Jong-un with a miniature nuclear warhead. The country launched a rocket in July that experts said was capable of reaching the United States. The country also has thousands of artillery located along its border and point at Seoul, South Korea.
- The United Nations Security Council approved new sanctions for North Korea over the weekend. The move imposed sanctions on the country for defying a ban on testing missiles and nuclear bombs. The new sanctions also ban the import of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood from North Korea. It’s unclear if North Korea’s nearest neighbors, China and Russia will enforce the sanctions.
- North Korea responded to the sanctions in a statement saying “Packs of wolves are coming in attack to strangle a nation. They should be mindful that the D.P.R.K.’s strategic steps accompanied by physical action will be taken mercilessly with the mobilization of all its national strength.”
- The country’s state-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun also said “The day the United States dares tease our nation with a nuclear weapon and sanctions, the mainland United States will be catapulted into an unimaginable sea of fire."
- U.S Defense Secretary James Mattis issued a stern ultimatum for North Korea to “cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and destruction of its people.”
This story is developing.