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President Trump Is "Unhinged" and "Reckless" In Threatening North Korean Dictator Like That

August 09, 2017

Top photo: North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Bottom: President Trump at the White House.
Chronicle staff

(NATIONAL) -- Across America and Capitol Hill a lot of Americans, lawmakers, news pundits and perhaps allies as well appear to be wondering what in the world President Donald Trump thought he might accomplish in issuing such a graphic threat to North Korea's leader.

Has Mr. Trump finally crystallized for all the world to see just how far out of his depth he is acting as leader of the free world and President of the United States, some may be thinking?

President Trump is facing a hailstorm of criticism from lawmakers in both parties after warning that North Korea would "face fire and fury like the world has never seen" if North Korean leader Kim Jong Un keeps threatening the United States.

Trump voiced the warning to North Korea on Tuesday during a photo op at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey saying, "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...he has been very threatening beyond a normal state. They will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before," he said.

It was unclear it Trump's threat was a calculated statement pre-prepared with advisors as part of an overarching strategy in dealing with North Korea, or if it was simply an off the cuff remark made by Trump with little understanding of the possible consequences of the comment.

Among the reaction to Trump's threat:

Democrats hammered Trump for a comment they charged was "bombastic" and "unhinged."

"President Trump is not helping the situation with his bombastic comments," California Sen. Dianne Feinstein said in a statement.

New York Rep. Eliot Engel, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Trump had undermined US credibility "by drawing an absurd red line."

Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York referred to Trump's comments as "reckless."

"We need to be firm and deliberate with North Korea, but reckless rhetoric is not a strategy to keep America safe," Schumer said in a statement issued Tuesday.

Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, compared Trump's comments to rhetoric that often comes out of Pyongyang, the capitol of North Korea:

"President Trump's comments were not helpful and once again show that he lacks the temperament and judgment to deal with the serious crisis the United States confronts," Cardin said. "We should not be engaging in the same kind of bluster and provocative statements as North Korea about nuclear war."

Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain also took exception to Trump's comments: "I take exception to the President's comments because you've got to be sure that you can do what you say you're going to do," the Arizona Republican said in an interview with Phoenix radio station KTAR. "The great leaders I've seen don't threaten unless they're ready to act and I'm not sure President Trump is ready to act."

Both CNN and The Washington Post reported Tuesday that US intelligence analysts have assessed that North Korea has already produced a "miniaturized nuclear warhead," according to sources familiar with the analysis of North Korea's missile and nuclear program, reported CNN.

CNN also reported that Braham Denmark, a former deputy assistant secretary of Defense for East Asia, said the "mixed messages" coming out of the Trump administration were "problematic" because they could create confusion for both allies and adversaries.

"Our adversaries and our allies are getting very mixed messages from the Trump administration, and this is why you need to have experienced people in government," he said. "This is why diplomacy requires more than a Twitter account and some bravado -- you need to have real experienced diplomats coordinating all these messages."



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