Trump escalates ‘fire and fury’ threat to NKorea

Trump tells N. Korea to "get their act together"

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says that perhaps his ‘fire and fury’ warning to North Korea “wasn’t tough enough.” Trump is issuing a new warning over the North’s development of nuclear weapons.

Trump says North Korea “better get their act together or they are going to be in trouble like few nations have ever been in trouble.”

The president was addressing reporters during his vacation at his New Jersey golf club before a security briefing with top advisers.

U.S. Air Force A-10 attack aircraft wait to take off on the runway at the Osan U.S. Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017. North Korea on Wednesday officially dismissed President Donald Trump's threats of "fire and fury," declaring the American leader "bereft of reason" and warning ominously, "Only absolute force can work on him." (Hong Ki-won/Yonhap via AP)
U.S. Air Force A-10 attack aircraft wait to take off on the runway at the Osan U.S. Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017. (Hong Ki-won/Yonhap via AP)

It’s the latest warning since he said earlier this week that North Korea faces “retaliation with fire and fury unlike any the world has seen before.”

North Korea has said it may attack Guam in retaliation.

North Korea has announced a detailed plan to launch a salvo of ballistic missiles toward the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, a major military hub and home to U.S. bombers, a move that if carried out would be its most provocative missile launch to date.

The announcement Thursday warned that the North is preparing a plan to fire four of its Hwasong-12 missiles over Japan and into waters around the tiny island, which hosts 7,000 U.S. military personnel on two main bases and has a population of 160,000.

Japan and South Korea vowed a strong reaction if the North were to go through with the plan.

Brushing off Putin, Trump says fewer diplomats saves money

President Donald Trump is brushing off Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to expel hundreds of U.S. diplomatic employees from Russia.

President Donald Trump speaks before a security briefing at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., Thursday, August 10, 2017, (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

In remarks to reporters, Trump dismissed Putin’s move, saying it would “cut down our payroll” at the State Department” and “save a lot of money.”

It’s unclear whether the president is joking.

Putin said last month the U.S. would have to cut 755 of its embassy and consular staff in Russia because of new U.S. sanctions.

Moscow’s move was a long-expected response to President Barack Obama’s move to expel 35 Russian diplomats and shut down two Russian recreational retreats in the U.S.

Obama took action following allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

UN leader ‘troubled’ by rhetoric on North Korea

The United Nations says Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is “troubled” by the escalating rhetoric from all sides in the North Korea nuclear dispute.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric says Guterres “welcomes all initiatives that will help de-escalate the tensions and a return to diplomacy.”

Asked Thursday whether the secretary-general could be a mediator, Dujarric says, “He is always willing to do so.”

Donald Trump, Mike Pence
Vice President Mike Pence and President Donald Trump leave after the president spoke to reporters at Trump National Golf Club, in Bedminster, N.J., Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The U.N. in the past has had an envoy for North Korea, but Dujarric says “every situation is different and it’s important not to make empty gestures.”

Dujarric says Guterres welcomed the U.N. Security Council’s adoption last Saturday of a resolution imposing new sanctions on North Korea, including banning any coal, iron lead and seafood exports, and is urging all U.N. member states to implement it.

Trump to declare opioid crisis a ‘national emergency’

President Donald Trump said Thursday that he will officially declare the opioid crisis a “national emergency” and pledged to ramp up government efforts to combat the epidemic.

“The opioid crisis is an emergency. And I am saying officially right now: It is an emergency, it’s a national emergency. We’re going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis,” Trump told reporters during a brief question-and-answer session ahead of a security briefing Thursday at his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey.

He said he’d be drawing up documents to formalize the declaration soon.

A drug commission convened by Trump and led by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie recently called on Trump to declare a national emergency to help deal with the growing crisis. An initial report from the commission noted that the approximately 142 deaths each day from drug overdoses mean the death toll is “equal to September 11th every three weeks.”

Trump received a briefing on the report earlier this week during his 17-day working vacation in New Jersey.

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, left, and Vice President Mike Pence listen as President Donald Trump speaks to reporters after a security briefing at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, left, and Vice President Mike Pence listen as President Donald Trump speaks to reporters after a security briefing at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price seemed to suggest after that briefing that the president was leaning against the recommendation, arguing that the administration could deploy the necessary resources and attention to deal with the crisis without declaring a national emergency.

Still, Price stressed that “all things” were “on the table for the president.”

Christie applauded Trump’s decision in a statement, saying the president “deserves great credit.”

“As I have said before, I am completely confident that the President will address this problem aggressively and do all he can to alleviate the suffering and loss of scores of families in every corner of our country,” he said.

Trump said Thursday that the nation’s addiction to opioids is “a serious problem, the likes of which we have never had.”