President Trump said Friday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will “regret it fast” if he threatens or attacks any U.S. territory or ally, while acknowledging his team is considering military options “very carefully.”
“If he does anything with respect to Guam or any place else that’s an American territory or an American ally, he will truly regret it and he will regret it fast,” Trump told reporters Friday afternoon at his New Jersey golf club.
The warning was the latest escalation in what has become a war of words between the two countries. Trump has spent the week turning up the heat on North Korea, specifically warning the regime of real consequences if it carries out an attack on Guam, the U.S. territory the country has threatened.
“This man will not get away with what he’s doing, believe me,” Trump said of Kim.
Later Friday, Trump met with his national security team and told reporters he’s still hoping for a “peaceful solution.”
“Hopefully it will all work out,” he said. “Nobody loves a peaceful solution better than President Trump, that I can tell you.”
The president made the comments after meeting Friday afternoon with UN ambassador Nikki Haley, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and national security adviser H.R. McMaster.
“We think that lots of good things could happen and we could also have a bad solution,” he said.
Pressed by a reporter if that meant war with North Korea, Trump replied: “I think you know the answer to that.”
Again referencing Pyongyang’s threats of attacking an U.S. territory, the president issued a warning. “If anything happens to Guam, there’s going to be big, big trouble in North Korea.”
Earlier Friday, the president warned North Korea on Twitter that the United States’ military was “locked and loaded,” and urged the rogue regime’s dictator to “find another path.”
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“Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!” the president tweeted Friday morning.
Asked by a reporter Friday what he meant by military solutions, he said: “We are looking at that very carefully, and I hope that they are going to fully understand the gravity of what I said. And what I said is what I mean.”
Trump added: “Those words are very, very easy to understand.”
The regime has recently made several threats to the United States amid a new United Nations sanctions package that was passed unanimously last week.
North Korea’s state news agency most recently warned “even a single shell dropped on the Korean Peninsula might lead to the outbreak of … thermonuclear war.”
“We consider the U.S. no more than a lump which we can beat to a jelly any time,” the Korean Central News Agency said, quoting Institute of International Studies researcher Kang Kum Chol.
The president is meeting Friday afternoon with Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United States, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and is expected to address the media afterwards.