Donald Trump stepped all over his own attempt to calm North Korea tensions Tuesday, warning Pyongyang that U.S. military action would be “devastating.”
Speaking at a White House news conference, Trump initially struck a diplomatic tone, saying military force was not his “preferred option.”
But his id quickly took over: “But if we take that option, it will be devastating, I can tell you that, devastating for North Korea. That’s called the military option. If we have to take it, we will.”
Analysts published a report Monday urging reporters covering the escalation to show restraint, noting that beyond the political rhetoric, neither country looks like it’s preparing for war.
Those sentiments echo analysis from General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, who told a Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday that despite the heated words, neither country’s military posture had changed.
“While the political space is clearly very charged right now, we haven’t seen a change in the posture of North Korean forces, and we watch that very closely,” Dunford said.
However, a CNN report published Tuesday said Pyongyang had moved fighter jets, external fuel tanks, and air-to-air missiles to a base on its eastern coast to boost military readiness.