President Donald Trump reiterated his bellicose warning to North Korea from earlier in the week, telling reporters at his golf club in New Jersey on Thursday that his threat to bring “fire and fury” if North Korea continued to threaten the United States may not have gone far enough.
“Maybe it wasn’t tough enough,” Trump said during a lengthy exchange with reporters.
Trump said that past administrations had not done enough to take on North Korea and that it is time a President “stuck up for the country.”
Trump also expressed concerns that sanctions would not work against the rogue nation.
The comments came before a meeting Trump held with Vice President Mike Pence, national security adviser H.R. McMaster and newly installed White House chief of staff John Kelly.
In off-the-cuff remarks on Tuesday, Trump said: “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 … he has been very threatening beyond a normal state,” Trump said. “They will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before.”
Trump declined to rule out a preemptive strike on North Korea, saying he won’t discuss potential military options.
“We don’t talk about that. We never do. I don’t talk about it,” Trump told reporters at his golf club in New Jersey when asked about a preemptive strike. “We’ll see what happens.”
“What they’ve been doing and what they’ve been getting away with is a tragedy and it can’t be allowed,” Trump said.
He said the US will “always consider negotiations” with North Korea.
The President also sought to reassure Americans of their own safety on Thursday, even as he issued another stark warning to North Korea.
“The people of this country should be very comfortable,” Trump said. “The people of our country are safe. Our allies are safe.”
By Dan Merica and Kevin Liptak, CNN