President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before a security briefing at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., Thursday, August 10, 2017, (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
A man watches a television screen showing U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program at the Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017. 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. If carried out, it would be the North's most provocative missile launch to date. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
ADDS TRANSLATION OF SIGNS - Tens of thousands of North Koreans gathered for a rally at Kim Il Sung Square carrying placards and propaganda slogans as a show of support for their rejection of the United Nations' latest round of sanctions on Wednesday Aug. 9, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea. Propaganda signs, from left to right: “Strike the United States with nuclear thunderbolt!”; “Those who touch us will not escape death”; “A revenge attack of annihilation”. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
ADDS TRANSLATION OF SIGN - Tens of thousands of North Koreans gather for a rally at Kim Il Sung Square carrying placards and propaganda slogans as a show of support for their rejection of the United Nations' latest round of sanctions on Wednesday Aug. 9, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea. Propaganda poster at center says, "The nuclear treasured sword of justice!" (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
A PAC-3 Patriot missile unit is seen deployed in the compound of Defense Ministry in Tokyo, Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017. North Korea on Thursday announced a detailed plan to launch a volley of ballistic missiles toward the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, a major military hub and home to U.S. bombers, and dismissed U.S. President Donald Trump's threats of "fire and fury" if it doesn't back down. The announcement, made in the name of a general who heads North Korea's rocket command, warned 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. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
BEDMINSTER, N.J. — Issuing a new threat to North Korea, President Donald Trump demanded that North Korea “get their act together” or face extraordinary trouble. He said his previous warning of “fire and fury” if Pyongyang threatened the U.S. again might have been too soft.
“Maybe that statement wasn’t tough enough,” Trump said on Thursday.
Trump, speaking to reporters from the New Jersey golf resort where he’s vacationing, said North Korea had been “getting away with a tragedy that can’t be allowed.” Still, he declined to say whether the U.S. was considering a pre-emptive military strike, arguing that his administration never discusses such deliberations publicly.
Trump’s comments were his first since North Korea reacted to his “fire and fury” threat by announcing 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. Trump said it was time that somebody stood up to the pariah nation.
“North Korea better get their act together or they are going to be in trouble like few nations have ever been in trouble,” Trump said, flanked by Vice President Mike Pence. “It may very well be tougher than I said.”
Trump said the U.S. “of course” would always consider negotiations with North Korea, but added that negotiations with the North have failed for the last 25 years. He accused his predecessors of failing to effectively address the North Korea problem.
Alluding to the threats against Guam, Trump said if North Korea took any steps to even think about an attack, it would have reason to be nervous.
“Things will happen to them like they never thought possible, OK?” Trump said. Of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Trump added: “He’s been pushing the world around for a long time.”