Trump's statement about overall nuclear strength is debatable.
Sixty-four Democratic members of the House of representatives - including John Conyers, the only member of Congress to have fought in the Korean War - sent a letter to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on August 10 expressing "profound concern over the statements made by President Trump that dramatically increased tensions with North Korea and raised the specter of nuclear war". "They have a lot of leverage over North Korea if they want to use it". "And as I said, they will be met with the fire and fury and, frankly, power, the likes of which this world has never seen before".
In the meantime, President Trump claimed that maybe his "fire and fury" words weren't strong enough, and maybe he should have used stronger language to threaten North Korea. "However, right now, Secretary Tillerson, Ambassador Haley, you can see the American effort is diplomatically led, it has diplomatic traction, it is gaining diplomatic results", Mattis said.
"It's a very big decision for me", Politico news quoted the President as saying. The country has threatened nuclear attacks against the US and its allies as well as a missile strike on Guam. "The whole of the Security Council has come together behind that, and I think that we should see the President's public comments as one of the strands, one of the many strands of USA activity". "We think that lots of good things could happen and we also could have a bad solution".
Trump's rhetoric and North Korea's response have unsettled powers in the Asia-Pacific region, with some scrambling to respond to the escalation of tensions.
Other foreign leaders raised questions about whether there was a military option in North Korea.
"The United States government can, and does, work with countries to address serious concerns such as North Korea while also pursuing measures to address economic concerns, such as the theft of USA intellectual property", an NSC official said.
Trump continued to ramp up the rhetoric with a post on Twitter this morning indicating that the U.S.is prepared to take military action against North Korea. Tillerson added that Trump was making the consequences clear should North Korea attack the US.
MARTIN: Let me ask you on that in seconds remaining - are you convinced that China will stick to these sanctions? I think now they're questioning whether we, in fact, have a game plan or not, or whether this is just going to be threats and words, rather than a strategic plan to get all parties, together, changing the calculation of North Korea that it's important for them to negotiate with us. We need to get - it's going to be tested quickly over the course of literally weeks as to whether or not China's serious.