Trump Says U.S. Is 'Locked and Loaded' in North Korea Confrontation
Albanian Daily News
Published August 12, 2017
President Donald Trump issued a new threat to North Korea on Friday, saying the U.S. military was "locked and loaded" as Pyongyang accused him of driving the Korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war and world powers expressed alarm.
The Pentagon said the United States and South Korea would proceed as planned with a joint military exercise in 10 days, an action sure to further antagonize North Korea.
China, Russia and Germany voiced dismay at the war of words between Pyongyang and Washington.
Trump, who has pressed China to help rein in its ally North Korea, spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping by telephone on Friday night, with the two leaders reiterating their mutual commitment to denuclearize the Korean peninsula, the White House said in a statement.
"President Trump and President Xi agreed North Korea must stop its provocative and escalatory behavior," the statement said, adding the relationship between the two presidents was "an extremely close one, and will hopefully lead to a peaceful resolution of the North Korea problem."
Trump and Xi also agreed that the recent adoption of a United Nations Security Council resolution on North Korea was an important step toward achieving peace and stability on the peninsula, the statement said.
China's state media said Xi told Trump the North Korean nuclear issue required a peaceful resolution through talks, and urged the "relevant side" to exercise restraint, avoiding words or action that raise tension.
Trump, vacationing at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf resort, again referred to North Korea's leader in his latest bellicose remarks. "Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely," he wrote on Twitter. "Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!"
The term "locked and loaded," popularized in the 1949 war film "Sands of Iwo Jima" starring American actor John Wayne, refers to preparations for shooting a gun.
Asked later by reporters to explain the remark, Trump said: "Those words are very, very easy to understand."
Again referring to Kim, Trump added, "If he utters one threat ... or 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."
In remarks to reporters after a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, Trump said the situation with North Korea was "very dangerous and it will not continue."
"We will see what happens. We think that lots of good things could happen, and we could also have a bad solution," he said.