North Korea Reportedly Capable Of Making Nuclear-Tipped Missiles

Trump discusses N. Korea with top officials

Trump discusses N. Korea with top officials

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday followed up his warning to North Korea against threatening the United States with a statement on the strength of the American nuclear arsenal, and an expression of hope that it would not need to be used. He then added: "Hopefully we will never have to use this power, but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world!"

It wasn't immediately clear what evidence the president had, if any, to support his claim about the nuclear force. White House officials did not elaborate. Half (50%) say they disapprove of Donald Trump's handling of it, 37% say they approve and another 13% say they aren't sure about his handling of the issue. "It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before", he wrote on Twitter.

And a CBS News poll released Tuesday showed that 61% of Americans were uneasy about Trump's ability to handle the situation with North Korea.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell to 2.261 percent from its U.S. close of 2.282 percent on Tuesday.

Euan Graham, director of the International Security Program at Sydney's Lowy Institute, says there has been no indication of a change in policy from Beijing. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said last week that the US was not demanding regime change and was willing to talk with Pyongyang - if the North agrees to abandon its quest for nuclear weapons.

Feinstein called on the Trump administration to engage North Korea in "high-level dialogue without any preconditions".

But the circumstances of that warning - at the end of the most ruinous conflict in human history - hardly compare to the suddenness of Trump's public, televised warning on Tuesday.

"I think the president just wanted to be clear to the North Korean regime that the US has unquestionable ability to defend itself, will defend itself and its allies, and I think it was important that he deliver that message to avoid any miscalculation on their part".

Soon after the President's bellicose statement, North Korea threatened to attack the Pacific Ocean island of Guam, a USA territory that is over 2,000 miles southeast of the Korean Peninsula, home to two US military bases.

It ended with a belligerent threat typical of North Korea's statements: "Should the USA finally opt for a reckless military adventure, defying the stern warning of our revolutionary armed forces, the tragic end of the American empire will be hastened". The U.S. territory is home to Andersen Air Force Base.

North Korea said the sanctions infringed its sovereignty and it was ready to give Washington a "severe lesson" with its strategic nuclear force in response to any US military action.

Tillerson spoke to reporters as he returned from Malaysia to Washington, stopping along the way in Guam.

Andersen Air Force Base on Guam is where the USA keeps its B1-B bombers deployed to the Asia Pacific.

Tillerson said he never considered re-routing his trip from Malaysia so as to avoid stopping in Guam.

What's much less certain, however, is whether the North's missiles can inflict serious damage once they reach Guam.

Guam's Democratic Rep. Madeleine Bordallo told CNN Tuesday night that she takes the threats from North Korea "very seriously".

While Trump was celebrating his administration's work, Nikki Haley, the United States envoy to the UN who piloted the sanctions through the Security Council, admitted that there are questions about the effectiveness of the sanctions and an approach that despite Trump's claims does not markedly differ from that of previous administrations.

China has supported tough sanctions on North Korea in the past, but this was the first time Beijing has signed onto sanctions passed specifically in response to an intercontinental ballistic missile test.

"It is acceptable for the President to say 'here's what we are going to do and here are the steps we are going to take. and we are going to respond. appropriately and with strength, '" Jamie Metzl, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, told CNN's Jake Tapper. "He's not going to contain the threat".

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