Tensions between the U.S. and North Korea are continuing to grow Friday as President Donald Trump doubled down on military threats.
“Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely,” Trump tweeted Friday morning. “Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!”
Moments later, he retweeted a message from the U.S. Pacific Command’s official Twitter account, stating that “#USAF B-1B Lancer #bombers on Guam stand ready to fulfill USFK’s #FightTonight mission if called upon to do so.”
The U.S. military in the region surrounding the Korean Peninsula always remains prepared with both defensive and offensive capabilities in the event that North Korea launches an attack. “Ready to fight tonight,” is their motto.
Hours earlier, North Korea’s state-run KCNA news agency slammed the White House as “warmongers” who “are unaware of the fact that even a single shell dropped on the Korean Peninsula might lead to the outbreak of a new world war, a thermonuclear war.”
“We consider the U.S. no more than a lump which we can beat to a jelly any time,” Pyongyang said in its statement.
Prior to Trump’s latest tweets, a Chinese state-run newspaper said that China should remain neutral if North Korea launches an attack that threatens the United States, but also sent a warning to Pyongyang over its plans to fire missiles near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.
The comments from the influential Global Times came after Trump revved up his rhetoric against the communist country on Thursday, saying his earlier threat to unleash “fire and fury” on Pyongyang if it launched an attack may not have been tough enough.
U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters the United States still preferred a diplomatic approach to the North Korean threat and that a war would be “catastrophic.”
When Mattis was asked if the United States was ready if North Korea made a hostile act, he said: “We are ready.”