In response to Kim Jong-un’s announcement of his country’s “actively progressing” tech weapons, incoming president Donald Trump took to Twitter on Monday to declare they won’t reach the United States.
The next commander-in-chief also took aim at China for “not helping” America with North Korea.On New Year’s Day, Kim Jong-un addressed his nation with news of progress in nuclear weaponry. He said in a televised speech (via CNN):
“Research and development of the cutting-edge tech weapons are actively progressing and strengthening our defense capabilities, including last stage preparation of tests for intercontinental ballistic rocket launch have been continuously succeeding.”
Kim added that efforts will continue unless the U.S. halts its “nuclear threat,” “blackmail” and “war exercises”:
“Unless the US and its vassal forces stop nuclear threat and blackmail and unless they stop the war exercises which they stage right at our noses under the pretext of annual exercises, the DPRK would keep increasing the military capabilities for self-defense and preemptive striking capacity with a main emphasis on nuclear force.”
Determining where exactly North Korea is on its sea of threats is challenging. Many dismissed Kim’s words, but the fact that the country ran two nuclear tests in 2016 alone may be worth some serious talk.
Shortly after Kim’s rhetoric, the Department of Defense pointed out that the U.N. Security Council has multiple resolutions explicitly prohibiting North Korea’s ballistic missile activities. It said on a statement (via The Huffington Post):
“We reaffirm our ironclad commitments to defend our allies utilizing the full spectrum of U.S. extended deterrence capabilities.”
On Monday, U.S. president-elect Donald Trump seemed more assuring, tweeting:
“North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the U.S. It won’t happen!”
How exactly he plans to not make it happen is unclear. Interestingly, he posted again minutes later, this time taking an aim at China:
“China has been taking out massive amounts of money & wealth from the U.S. in totally one-sided trade, but won’t help with North Korea. Nice!”
Apparently, Trump wants China to do more, but his tweet isn’t helping the latter. According to the Washington Post, Beijing argued that it’s been pushing for North Korea’s denuclearization all these time, setting itself in a pacifying stand. Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a conference:
“China’s efforts in this regard are perfectly obvious. As a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, we have proactively participated in relevant discussions on the North Korean nuclear issue and have jointly passed several resolutions with other parties.”
Meanwhile, China’s Global Times claimed that Trump, in his insults, was “pandering to irresponsible attitudes” and “stoking the anxieties of some Americans”.