Read the full op-ed in Richmond Times-Dispatch here.
On Aug. 5, the United Nations Security Council unanimously approved a powerful sanctions resolution on North Korea, said to be the strictest imposed on a country in a generation. These new sanctions were in response to North Korea’s reckless actions in testing intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Two days later, North Korea threatened retaliation “thousands of times over” and vowed to never give up its nuclear arsenal. The following day, speaking from his golf club in Bedminster, N. J., President Trump said that “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”
The day after this, Gen. Kim Rak-gyom, commander of the Strategic Force of the Korean People’s Army, said that North Korea was finalizing a plan to fire “four Hwasong-12 intermediate range strategic ballistic rockets … to signal a crucial warning to the U.S.” into the waters around Guam.
On Aug. 11, Trump tweeted that American armed forces were “locked and loaded” and ready for anything. He told reporters “This man will not get away with what he is doing,” and his National Security Advisor, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster stated that, “If he utters one threat in the form of an overt threat,” or takes action against the United States territory of Guam or against American allies, “he will truly regret it and regret it fast.”