Trump issues ominous warning to North Korea after claims their nuclear weapons can 'hit anywhere in US'
If there is anybody that Donald Trump has publicly clashed heads with more than anyone else, it's Kim Jong Un. The North Korean leader seems to have a talent for goading the President into lashing out - something which was especially evident a couple of weeks ago, when Trump tweeted petty insults towards Kim in response to being described as "old".
However, after news emerged yesterday that Pyongyang successfully tested a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile that would be capable of reaching Washington DC, Trump has been forced to deal with the matter rather more seriously.
Reports that the weapons test was a success was announced by North Korean propaganda, and the claims they made appear to be corroborated by statements from Japan and South Korea.
"After watching the successful launch of the new type ICBM Hwasong-15," the report said, "Kim Jong-un declared with pride that now we have finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force, the cause of building a rocket power."
This news is obviously incredibly worrying coming from a nation that has long sought to become a nuclear superpower - especially since the relationship between the US and North Korea has been near enough pushed to breaking point already.
When prompted for a statement on how he plans to deal with the situation, Trump told reporters at the White House: "I will only tell you that we will take care of it. ... It is a situation that we will handle."
Later, Trump made yet more ominous claims on Twitter - apparently his favored platform for dealing with serious political matters - and hinted that the US should be preparing for war.
US Defense Secretary James Mattis, who was present with Trump in the Roosevelt Room, said that Pyongyang's latest missile launch was "higher, frankly, than any previous shot they have taken," and that it has the ability to hit "everywhere in the world, basically."
David Wright, a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists, also expressed his concerns about the capabilities of the missile. "Such a missile would have more than enough range to reach Washington, DC, and in fact any part of the continental United States," Wright said in a statement. However, he did add that this range would be limited at least in part if a nuclear warhead was attached.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham had perhaps the most damning statement to make on the matter, and said on CNN that, "If we have to go to war to stop this, we will. If there's a war with North Korea it will be because North Korea brought it on itself, and we're headed to a war if things don't change."
This followed a statement from a North Korean official, who said, "Before we can engage in diplomacy with the Trump administration, we want to send a clear message that the DPRK has a reliable defensive and offensive capability to counter any aggression from the United States."
This is arguably the closest the world has been to seeing a nuclear attack since The Cold War, and obviously the situation deserves the utmost concern and attention.
The President, however, already seems to have moved on from the issue, and was back to tweeting about tax cuts just two hours after saying, "it's more important than ever to fund our gov't & military".
Whatever he says, though, Trump should certainly be careful about what he tweets in the near future. Though his bickering with Kim may have seemed humorous in the past, it could have dire consequences towards international relations at this point.