North Korea threatened the "most powerful" Pacific hydrogen bomb test yet in response to President Donald Trump's United Nations speech in which he stated that the U.S., if forced to defend itself or its allies, would "have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea."
What does North Korea have planned?
North Korean President Kim Jong Un, in a rare first-person statement, threatened Trump personally after his U.N. speech and called him a "dog" and a "gangster."
In a statement released Thursday, Kim Jong Un said:
After taking office Trump has rendered the world restless through threats and blackmail against all countries in the world. He is unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country, and he is surely a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire, rather than a politician. His remarks which described the U.S. option through straightforward expression of his will have convinced me, rather than frightening or stopping me, that the path I chose is correct and that it is the one I have to follow to the last.
He said that he will make Trump "pay dearly," as well as "face results beyond his expectation."
"I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U. S. dotard with fire," Kim Jong Un added.
Ri Yong Ho — the North Korean foreign minister who will address the United Nations on Saturday — announced Thursday that Pyongyang could respond to Trump's speech, as well as newly announced sanctions on the Hermit Kingdom, by testing an H-bomb in the Pacific Ocean. Ri spoke to reporters and offered the hydrogen bomb threat as part of what appeared to be an attempt to clarify Kim's Thursday threats.
"It could be the most powerful detonation of an H-bomb in the Pacific," he told reporters. "We have no idea about what actions could be taken as it will be ordered by leader Kim Jong Un."
He added, "This could probably mean the strongest hydrogen bomb test over the Pacific Ocean. Regarding which measures to take, I don't really know since it is what Kim Jong Un does."
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 22, 2017
Why is this significant?
- Should North Korea make good on its threats to detonate the H-bomb, it would be the first time that the country detonated a nuclear device outside the borders of its country.
- It could result in a further deteriorating relationship between North Korea and China, a benefactor of sorts to North Korea, and sabotage their economy.
- China and its president, Xi Jinping, have been put off by North Korea's recent nuclear testing.
- China could feasibly limit up to 100,000 North Korean laborers from working in China and other areas overseas.
- China could also opt to limit imports received from North Korea.
- Additionally, China could cut off North Korea’s crude oil supply.
- North Korea has also threatened Japan and said that the country wants to "sink" Japanese islands.
- In August, North Korea fired a missile over Japan.
- Japan's prime minister said that the country's stance on North Korea's tactics of intimidation align with that of the U.S.
- South Korean impacts would likely be felt due to the lack of a physical geographical barrier.
- Korea has also been threatened militarily by Kim Jong Un's actions, and called "pro-American traitors" who should be "wiped out."
- In August, it was revealed that North Korea could impact most U.S. cities with intercontinental ballistic missiles, and had developed warheads small enough to be attached to those missiles.
What was Trump's response to the latest North Korean threat?
The president addressed the North Korean H-bomb comments in a Twitter update on Friday morning after news broke of the threat.
Calling the North Korean leader a "madman," Trump wrote, "Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn't mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before!"
Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn't mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 22, 2017