WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened North Korea, promising "fire and fury like the world has never seen," following new reports the country has escalated its nuclear program.
"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen," he said in a short statement to reporters before a meeting on the opioid crisis at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
"He has been very threatening, beyond a normal statement," Trump said of the country's leader, Kim Jong Un. "And as I said, they will be met with fire, fury and frankly, power, the likes of which this world has never seen before."
Trump's ultimatum, which mirrors North Korea's rhetoric toward the United States, came as U.S. intelligence officials reportedly learned that North Korea has produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that could be placed on a missile, a significant step in advancing its nuclear program.
In recent weeks, the country has also claimed that it successfully tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles, which may be capable of reaching Alaska.
He has been very threatening, beyond a normal statement.Donald Trump on Kim Jong Un
On Monday, North Korea issued a similarly strong threat to the U.S.
"Should the U.S. pounce upon the DPRK with military force at last, the DPRK is ready to teach the U.S. a severe lesson with its strategic nuclear force," foreign minister Ri Yong Ho said in a statement, referring to North Korea.
Trump has regularly responded to North Korea's nuclear escalation with little specificity, insisting that "all options are on the table." He has taken particular issue with China, North Korea's only ally, for not doing more to rein in the nuclear program and suggested economic consequences against the country, an important U.S. trade partner.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is meeting with officials in Asia this week, exploring diplomatic solutions to the growing crisis.
This story has been updated with more details on the situation.
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