"Locked and loaded": Trump assures North Korea the U.S. military is armed and ready

US President Donald Trump has again added fuel to the fire amid the North Korea crisis, saying that if Pyongyang "acts unwisely," Washington has military solutions "locked and loaded."

"Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely," Trump tweeted on Friday.
The US president added that he hopes that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un "will find another path."

Trump's comments come a day after US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said that Washington and its allies "now possess the most precise, rehearsed and robust defensive and offensive capabilities on Earth."

"The DPRK [North Korea] regime's actions will continue to be grossly overmatched by ours and would lose any arms race or conflict it initiates," Mattis said

Tensions in the region continue to escalate, following a new round of UN sanctions against North Korea earlier in August, in response to fresh missile tests by Pyongyang.

In July, North Korea claimed to have test-fired two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM). Russia, however, has said that the missiles were intermediate range. In response to the tests, the US and South Korea repeatedly fired surface-to-surface missiles into neutral waters close to Pyongyang.

Trump has also said that any threats from North Korea "will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen."

Pyongyang, however, said it was working on a plan to launch a medium-range ballistic missile at US forces in Guam, some 3,200km from North Korea.

On Thursday, Trump continued, saying that his "fire and fury" warning to North Korea may not have been "tough enough." Pyongyang should be "very, very nervous" if it does anything to the US, Trump told reporters.

Comment: So far this is playing out pretty much as Scott Adams has predicted:

Takeaway point: notice what is NOT being said. Trump is not personally insulting Kim Jong-un, which you'd expect him to do, knowing Trump's infamous insults. He's treating him as the leader of a major military adversary, which is exactly how North Korea wants and needs to be seen. Despite the rhetoric, neither side wants war:
Rationally speaking, North Korea couldn't possibly launch a nuclear strike. Therefore, it was critical for North Korea to appear irrational. Only apparent irrationality, meticulously managed, could convince the Americans, the South Koreans, the Japanese, the Russians, and the Chinese that North Korea was utterly dangerous.

But the regime's apparent irrationality had to be calibrated in such a way that North Korea's dangerousness was never so credible or imminent that someone would preemptively attack it.

It had to preserve the regime and paralyze its opponents without forcing military action by its adversaries.

But if Adams is right, things will have to get a bit worse before the opportunity for real negotiations. It will look like war is about to break out. Only at that time will the negotiations table be set.

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