Trump's 'fire and fury' over North Korea hurts his Asia allies

11 August, 2017, 14:00 | Author: Benny Bass
  • Sebastian Gorka the deputy assistant to President Donald Trump speaks to CNN's in July 2017

While Trump on Tuesday warned North Korea not to threaten the USA and spoke of meeting the North with "fire and fury like the world has never seen", Tillerson on Wednesday played down those comments and said Trump "just wanted to be clear to the North Korean regime on the U.S.'s unquestionable ability to defend itself".

Gorka then used an anecdote involving a Holocaust survivor to suggest North Korea's threats against the United States was somehow similar to that posed against Jews by the Nazis in the Second World War. Needless to say, it's been a rough week, but Stephen Colbert is doing everything he can to help us get through it without losing our minds. "They count on me to be a straight shooter with a calm voice". "You'll get us all killed - and I just started The Handmaid's Tale". See, don't you feel better now?!

Under the ban, USA citizens who wish to travel to North Korea will be required to obtain special passport validation from the State Department.

"I don't want to be alarmist: We're all going to die", Colbert continued, "because USA intelligence now believes North Korea is making missile-ready nuclear weapons".

"What?! How is that fair?" asks Colbert. We have seen how Tillerson and Trump repeatedly contradict one another on various issues, so it is never clear when we should take Tillerson's statements as a reliable guide to what USA policy is at any given moment. In addition, Beijing fears that the collapse of order in North Korea could lead to instability on the North Korea-China border, a potentially large influx of refugees that it would need to manage, and ultimately the potential emergence of a new pro-U.S. successor to Kim.

Unfortunately, Tillerson's reassurances con't carry as much weight when we know that the president didn't coordinate this statement with anyone else, and none of his national security officials expected him to say anything like this.

Coinciding with this sanctions diplomacy, the United States and South Korea conducted their latest tests last month of the controversial Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system.

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