Donald Trump re-upped and doubled-down on his recent threats to bring "fire and fury like the world has never seen before" against North Korea, telling reporters at his golf club in New Jersey on Thursday that "maybe that statement wasn't tough enough."
His original threat earlier this week was in response to North Korea's threats against the US, after the United Nation's security council voted unanimously for new sanctions against the isolated nation. And, in response, North Korea's military offered an unusually detailed plan to fire a salvo of missiles at Guam, a U.S. territory and home to several US military bases.
We're joined to discuss the still-increasing tensions between the two nuclear powers by VOA's White House Bureau Chief STEVE HERMAN, who returned to report stateside earlier this year after serving as a correspondent and bureau chief in east Asia for more than 25 years.
When he last joined us in April, during the last round of threats between NK and the US, the always-remarkably level-headed Herman offered a tip, as a veteran journalist in the region, as to how to assess whether or not NK was bluffing with their public statements. We find out whether the new round of threats from NK's military is now finally cause for legitimate concern, and whether Trump's own bellicose threats — and the potential for a preemptive US strike — pose an even greater threat to stability in the region.
Herman also offers some criticism of the US commercial broadcast coverage on this issue, details the divides over the matter within the Trump Administration itself, discusses what North Korean leader Kim Jong-un may actually be seeking here, how big the stakes are for all sides in "this ultimate poker game", and confirms that, despite the increasingly heated rhetoric from both sides, back-channel diplomacy is still ongoing and may ultimately help to avoid what otherwise appears to be a deadly collision course.
He also offers a thought or two on which has been more difficult to cover, the whole of East Asia during his time overseas, or the Trump Administration now that he's reporting from the White House.
Also today: Political appointees (not career civil rights officials) file legal documents to flip the DoJ's previous position in a crucial voting rights case scheduled to be heard this fall by the US Supreme Court. And, nearly a week has gone by without Donald Trump saying or tweeting a word about last weekend's terror bombing of a mosque in Minnesota.
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