TRUMP TO NORTH KOREA: My ‘nuclear button’ is bigger than yours

Trump’s threat comes after a televised speech where North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said that a nuclear button was “always on my desk.”

  • President Donald Trump responded to a new threat from North Korea, touting what he called his “bigger & more powerful” nuclear button.
  • During a televised speech on New Year’s Day, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said that a nuclear button was “always on my desk.”

President Donald Trump’s flurry of tweets to kick off the new year did not end on Tuesday, as he launched another fiery message to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the late evening.

“North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times,'” Trump tweeted. “Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”

Trump appeared to refer to Kim Jong Un’s televised speech on New Year’s Day, in which the North Korean leader alluded to a “nuclear button” that was “always on my desk.”

“This is reality, not a threat,” Kim Jong Un reportedly said. “This year we should focus on mass producing nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles for operational deployment. These weapons will be used only if our security is threatened.”

Despite Trump touting a “nuclear button,” a physical button in which a US president can push to initiate a nuclear strike does not appear to exist. Instead, a briefcase — referred to as the “football” — carries authentication codes and accompanies the president wherever he goes by a military aide.

Trump’s threat comes amid another warning from the US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who said on Tuesday that the US would not take talks between South Korea and North Korea seriously after South Korea proposed holding high-level talks between the two nations at the North-South Korean border.

“We won’t take any of the talks seriously if they don’t do something to ban all nuclear weapons in North Korea,” Haley said during a press conference. “We consider this to be a very reckless regime, we don’t think we need a Band-Aid and we don’t think we need to smile and take a picture.”

Although current US officials have panned negotiations between North and South Korea, former US officials — including former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper — and many North Korea analysts appear to have accepted the country’s nuclear ambitions and have approved the call for negotiations.

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“I can well envision a scenario where they would juxtapose a missile test and as well agree to talk with the South Koreans, which I think would be a good thing,” Clapper said. “It would do a lot, I think, to relax some of the tensions. I think negotiation is the only way ahead here, to me is no other realistic option.

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