'I Guess Donald Trump Is Now Preparing to Launch a Tweet'
Just before midnight on Saturday North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test to date, which measured a strong 5.6 to 6.3 magnitude. It was reportedly almost ten times as powerful as last year's test. And it is more evidence Kim Jong-un is intent on displaying as much strength as he can in the face of threats by U.S. President Donald Trump.
In response, nations in the region expressed condemnation in the strongest terms possible.
China's foreign ministry said it "strongly condemns" the North Korean nuclear test. South Korea's President Moon called for the "strongest punishment" of North Korea. Japan's foreign minister said it would call for an emergency session of the UN Security Council. Russia said it expressed its "strongest condemnation" of the North Korean nuclear test. The UN atomic watchdog called it "extremely regrettable."
The White House just a few hours after the test told Fox News it would respond at some point later on Sunday. That statement likely came from Chief of Staff John Kelly.
That, of course, is not what happened.
Here's what did:
North Korea has conducted a major Nuclear Test. Their words and actions continue to be very hostile and dangerous to the United States.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 3, 2017
..North Korea is a rogue nation which has become a great threat and embarrassment to China, which is trying to help but with little success.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 3, 2017
South Korea is finding, as I have told them, that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 3, 2017
While foreign nations were responding as they should, Trump posted embarrassing tweets, in contradiction to what the White House said would happen. Not only did he attack North Korea, but South Korea and China as well.
This was the exact wrong course of action.
In a stunning move, the former Prime Minister of Sweden, who is now the Co-Chair European Council on Foreign Relations, predicted what Trump would do, and posted an amusing tweet mocking the U.S. president:
I guess Donald Trump is now preparing to launch a tweet. It will lift off in smoke and fire, and then with a roar disappear into nowhere.— Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) September 3, 2017
There was more mockery of Trump's response, by foreign policy and nuclear experts, who also expressed condemnation of tRump's actions.
Here's U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT):
Foreign policy, unhinged. Find me one expert whose advice on how to deal with North Korea is "Pick a fight with South Korea". https://t.co/oQDi8U8cAV— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) September 3, 2017
Former U.S. Ambassador to South Korea, and Iraq, and former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Christopher Hill:
Trump now worsening nuke crisis, blaming, threatening #ROK . Kelly, McMaster, Mattis, RexT,Pence all need to step up, earn their pay today.— Christopher R. Hill (@ambchrishill) September 3, 2017
A nuclear and global security expert tweeted the European Union's statement on the nuclear test to Trump, with harsh words:
Editor in Chief, The Atlantic:
This is not an opportune moment for the President of the United States to embarrass South Korea and threaten it with a trade war.— Jeffrey Goldberg (@JeffreyGoldberg) September 3, 2017
Professor of international relations, journalist, and CEO of international advisory firm:
Situation w N Korea is most dangerous in world. It has grown acutely more dangerous under Trump. He has mismanaged at every turn.— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) September 3, 2017
National Security Advisor to Vice President Joe Biden and a Georgetown professor:
Precisely the type of threat Trump's "fire&fury" talk aimed to deter. Superpowers shouldn't bluff, yet he invested US cred in empty bluster. pic.twitter.com/q6cdCv7GlF— Colin Kahl (@ColinKahl) September 3, 2017
Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow:
Good going Mr President: your witless tweets take the focus away from N Korean misconduct and put it on US lack of reliability. https://t.co/9jdaXY614H— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) September 3, 2017
Nuclear weapons expert, former special assistant to President Barack Obama, former Senior Director for Arms Control and Nonproliferation at the National Security Council:
And reassuring South Korea a top priority. Trump Admin failing this test. Threats about THAAD bill and now trade agmt very damaging.— Jon (((Wolfsthal))) (@JBWolfsthal) September 3, 2017
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