After praising Poland’s conservative ruling party during his visit to Warsaw on Thursday, President Trump quickly shifted his focus back to the escalating missile crisis in North Korea, saying that he is contemplating “some pretty severe things” to retaliate against Kim Jong Un after he tested an ICBM on America's independence day, capable of reaching US territory.
“I have some pretty severe things we’re thinking about," Trump said at a news conference in Warsaw. "Doesn’t mean we’re going to do them. I don’t draw red lines."
“I think we will just take a look at what happens over the coming weeks and months with respect to North Korea,” Mr. Trump added. "It’s a shame they’re behaving this way and they’re behaving in a very dangerous manner, and something will have to be done about it.”
Trump’s comments, made during a news conference in Warsaw, come a day after UN Ambassador Nikki Haley warned that the US is prepared to use the full range of its capabilities to deter North Korea, including military force “if we must.”
Trump, who spoke alongside Polish President Andrzej Duda, offered no details about what he is considering and did not answer a question directly about whether he is contemplating the use of military force. Earlier in the news conference, he said he is calling on all nations to "publicly demonstrate to North Korea that there are consequences for their very, very bad behavior."
Trump once again declined to say that it was only Russia that was involved in hacking the 2016 presidential election ahead of his meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin on Friday. U.S. intelligence agencies have blamed the Russian government but Trump has stopped short of laying blame squarely with the Kremlin.”
North Korea’s missile test, which followed several other launches in recent months rattled the international community and increased the pressure on Trump to take action, to show that his tough rhetoric is more than just bluster. Trump has previously said that “the era of strategic patience with the North Korea regime has failed’’ and “is over.”
“Trump has said all options including military force are available against Pyongyang, though its neighbors warn a strike could be disastrous for North Asia. South Korea’s new government favors talks to bring Kim to heel, also putting it potentially at odds with Trump’s administration.
North Korea’s pursuit of a nuclear-tipped warhead capable of reaching the U.S. is likely to be a significant topic during the G-20. Trump is scheduled to have bilateral meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, South Korean President Moon Jae-In and Putin. Each of those leaders have spoken out against North Korea’s provocations, and Trump has leaned on China in particular to rein in the rogue regime but acknowledged recently that it’s not working.”
However, both China and Russia, each a permanent member of the UN Security Council, have spoken out against a full-on invasion at this stage - saying they would block the authorization of military force using their veto power at the UN.
At the news conference, Trump also fielded questions about whether he accepts the U.S. intelligence community’s verdict that Russia interfered in the 2016 election in a bid to help him defeat Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. With Trump set to meet President Vladimir Putin on Friday at the summit , the issue has fresh urgency at least for the likes of CNN.
Trump responded that others might have been culpable, in addition from Russia. "I think it was Russia and I think it could have been other people and other countries,” Mr. Trump said. “A lot of people interfered. I think it’s been happening for a long time.”
Trump also said the U.S. intelligence community has made mistakes in the past and its judgment is open to question. As he has done in the past when discussing Russian hacking, he mentioned the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. Intelligence assessments claiming that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction turned out to be inaccurate.
“I remember listening about Iraq,” Trump said. He added: “Nobody really knows. Nobody really knows for sure.”
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Trump also took a swipe at Barack Obama, referencing news reports that Obama was told about Russian hacking last August, Trump said the former president took no action because of the mistaken belief that Mrs. Clinton would win anyway. Trump was meeting with Mr. Duda and the heads of various Baltic and central European states. With the Poland visit, Trump hopes to deliver a message that the U.S. stands with allies living in Russia’s shadow, White House officials said.
Before departing in the afternoon, Trump will deliver a speech in Krasinski Square, scene of a Polish uprising against the Nazis in 1944. In the speech, Trump will repeat his message that nations need to safeguard their borders or risk terrorist attack.
“While we will always welcome new citizens who share our values and love our people, our borders will always be closed to terrorism and extremism,” Trump plans to say, according to a speech excerpt provided by the White House.