North Korea is used to American Presidents who talk a big game but back down when it comes to dealing with the communist nation’s dangerous nuclear weapons program.
That all changed with the election of Donald Trump.
Trump said three words that stopped Kim Jong Un dead in his tracks.
The North Korean dictator continues to push the envelope with his nation’s nuclear weapons program.
North Korea successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile that could hit targets in the United States.
They also possess miniaturized warheads that can be placed on an ICBM.
That means the clock is ticking toward the moment North Korea possesses nuclear missiles that can obliterate any target in the United States.
Trump warned North Korea that they would be met with “fire and fury” should they threaten the United States.
North Korea responded by claiming they were developing plans to launch missiles at the U.S. territory of Guam, which is home to nearly 200,000 American citizens and Anderson Air Force Base.
That was enough for Trump.
He fired off a tweet that included three chilling words.
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
Saying the U.S. military options were “locked and loaded” was the clearest warning yet that Trump would no longer kick the can down the road.
He is working toward a diplomatic solution to the crisis, but affirmed that all options were on the table.
In fact, despite the public bombast, the United States and North Korea have engaged in high level back-channel discussions for months.
The Associated Press reports:
“Beyond the bluster, the Trump administration has been quietly engaged in back channel diplomacy with North Korea for several months, addressing Americans imprisoned in the communist country and deteriorating relations between the long-time foes, The Associated Press has learned…
… People familiar with the contacts say the interactions have done nothing thus far to quell tensions over North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile advances, which are now fueling fears of military confrontation. But they say the behind-the-scenes discussions could still be a foundation for more serious negotiation, including on North Korea’s nuclear weapons, should President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un put aside the bellicose rhetoric of recent days and endorse a dialogue.”
It was enough to get China to issue a statement that said North Korea was on their own if they proceeded with an attack on Guam or any other U.S. territory.
China has always maintained they would defend North Korea if anyone launched a preemptive war, but this was the first sign that Kim Jong Un was approaching a line that China would not allow him to cross.
That was a significant development in the nuclear standoff.
We will keep you up to date on any new developments in this story.