Rising tension between the United States and North Korea hit a fever pitch on Tuesday.
President Donald Trump told North Korea on Tuesday that the country can expect “fire and fury” if it does not stop its threats toward the United States, according to The New York Times.
“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” Trump said on Tuesday. “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”
Trump did not say what North Korea would have to do to “cross his line,” according to The New York Times.
But BBC reported on Tuesday that North Korea is considering an attack on the U.S. military base in Guam.
Tensions rose after the U.N. Security Council approved new sanctions against North Korea over the weekend, according to Reuters.
As the situation develops, here’s a quick breakdown of what you should know about the current tension between U.S. and North Korea.
- There is no imminent threat from North Korea, according to the BBC. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who is currently in Guam, told the BBC he doesn’t expect any attack. He also said diplomacy does not work with North Korea and a harsher statement was needed.
- Quote from Tillerson: "I think the president just wanted to be clear to the North Korean regime that the U.S. … will defend itself and its allies.”
Tillerson said America should “sleep well at night” despite the crisis, according to ABC News.
- Governor of Guam Eddie Baza Calvo said in a statement that he doesn’t expect any attack.
- Trump tweeted that the U.S. nuclear weaponry is stronger than before. He said he hopes he’ll never have to use that power.
My first order as President was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal. It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 9, 2017
...Hopefully we will never have to use this power, but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 9, 2017
- Trump also allegedly improvised the "fire and fury" line, according to The New York Times.
"Fire and fury" from yesterday was not carefully vetted language from Trump, per several ppl with knowledge. "Don't read too much into it."— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) August 9, 2017
- China urged calm over the North Korea situation, calling for both parties to avoid actions or words that could escalate tension, Reuters reported.
- Russia downplayed the rhetoric shared between the two countries. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters that both countries should act “prudent.”
- Quote from Lavrov: "We are confident that there is no alternative to the resumption of the political process, in particular the six-party talks," he said Tuesday. "We will certainly continue our dialogue with our North Korean neighbors. We expect that with the prudent approach of all players, naturally including the United States, the Republic of Korea and Japan, we will be able to find a solution that suits all parties."
- But Jonah Shepp of New York Magazine’s Daily Intelligencer said the U.S. shouldn't expect China or Russia to be a factor in the ongoing crisis. Shepp wrote that China has been “unimpressed” with the rising tension, and “Russia is sending signals that it is not a key player in this crisis and won’t be held responsible for a bad outcome.”
- There are still a number of questions to answer, according to The New York Times. For one, no one’s sure if North Korea can hit the U.S. with nuclear weapons. But North Korea has improved its missiles. And with a lot of money spent on the military (and now a growing economy), the possibility of the country have nuclear missiles has increased.
- What areas are under threat? Guam appears to be the only initial target, according to The New York Times. But the U.S. has held off on pre-emptive strikes on North Korea because the country has threatened to strike Hawaii and the U.S. mainland.
- Alaska lawmakers also expressed concern over a possible strike, ABC News reported. Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan and Alaska Governor Bill Walker both said they’re worried about the state of the crisis.
- Walker told Politico on Tuesday: “No one’s hiding under the desk that I know of at this point. But we do have to make sure we have the technology and awareness of what could happen.”
- This isn’t the first time in the last month or so the U.S. and North Korea have been at odds. As the BBC reported, North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missle that could theoretically hit the United States. Trump criticized North Korea’s action, which violated the U.N. Security Council’s order that the country not to conduct tests.