CNN's Zakaria: Trump North Korea Threats 'The Art of the Bluff'

US President Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump

The South Carolina Republican told radio host Hugh Hewitt that he's spoken with the President about the dilemma of pre-emptively striking North Korea to stop it from obtaining a nuclear weapon that could hit the United States.

Trump responded by threatening to unleash "fire and fury like the world has never seen", which in turn prompted Pyongyang to threaten Guam, a USA territory where 6,000 U.S. troops are stationed.

"Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un both seem like reasonable men", he concluded, jokingly. Concerns were heightened late last month when tests of an intercontinental ballistic missile indicated Pyongyang may be within a year or two of obtaining the technology to reach the US with nuclear missiles. Yun and North Korean diplomat Pak Song II negotiated the release of imprisoned American college student Otto Warmbier in June.

Despite the bombastic rhetoric exchanged between North Korean and American leaders this week, the Trump administration has been quietly engaged in back-channel diplomacy with North Korea for several months, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.

But on Thursday, he said, "we'll always consider negotiations", even if they haven't worked in the last quarter of a century. "I don't think we are there yet".

Limbaugh explained, there "are genuine madmen in North Korea". -China trading relationship. But analysts have cautioned that Trump faces a huge challenge in his desire to significantly reduce the USA trade deficit with China, which a year ago stood at more than $300 billion.

Pyongyang reacted by claiming it was "carefully examining" a plan to strike Guam - an island territory in Micronesia and the site of a USA military base.

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On Friday, he tweeted: "Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely".

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he will do everything he can to protect the Japanese people as tensions escalate over North Korean plans to send missiles flying over Japan toward Guam. And Secretary of Defense John "Mad Dog" Mattis is backing Trump's statements, saying today: that the North Korean regime "cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and destruction of its people".

Tensions were ratcheted up this week when the US president responded to news that Pyongyang had developed miniaturized nuclear warheads with a drastic warning that he would meet their continued threats with "fire and fury like the world has never seen".

Or specifically, North Korea's statement that it only held a grudge against the USA, and not to any other country.

US defense officials have said there are few good military options to deal with North Korea.

MARTIN: Yeah. But I hear you suggesting that you're concerned that there could be a miscalculation made, that on the one hand, President Trump is using the lexicon, using the language that Kim Jong Un is using in that style.

The White House says that Trump - in a phone call Friday to President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) - saluted Xi for China's United Nations vote to impose tougher sanctions on North Korea. "They count on me to be a straight shooter with a calm voice".

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