While emoting sympathy for Kim Jong Un's situation, President Trump told Reuters that he'd "love to solve things diplomatically," but warned that "there is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea."
"North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons is an urgent national security threat... The United States seeks stability and the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. We remain open to negotiations towards that goal. However, we remain prepared to defend ourselves and our allies."
North Korea conducted what various media outlets have dubbed as its largest ever live-fire exercise on Tuesday to mark the 85th anniversary of the foundation of its military, as a U.S. submarine docked in South Korea in "a show of force" amid growing concern a showdown between the US and North Korea may be imminent.
White House said in an advance schedule that on April 26 it will hold a briefing for senators with its “four principals” on North Korea "as the administration considers its options for dealing with saber-rattling from Pyongyang" according to Bloomberg. Among those present will be Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
"In the case of our super-mighty preemptive strike being launched, it will completely and immediately wipe out not only U.S. imperialists' invasion forces in South Korea and its surrounding areas but the U.S. mainland and reduce them to ashes."
Just as the "puppet of Putin" narrative had gone quiet - following Trump's Tomahawk-ing a largely abandoned airfield in Syria - it appears the Russia-linkages stories are about to get restarted. WSJ reports that Exxon Mobil has applied to the Treasury Department for a waiver from U.S. sanctions on Russia in a bid to resume its joint venture with state oil giant PAO Rosneft.
On the heels of an apparant avalanche of flip-flops on campaign comments, President Trump has notified Congress that Iran is complying with the "disastrous... worst deal ever negotiated" 2015 nuclear deal negotiated by former President Obama.
The U.S. Air Force scrambled two F-22 stealth fighters on Monday night to intercept a pair of Russian nuclear-capable bombers which came as close as 100 miles from Alaska's Kodiak Island, Fox reports. This was the first time since President Trump took office that Moscow has sent bombers so close to the U.S.