Trump touts his own ‘nuclear button’ in his most direct threat to North Korea yet

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donald trump 4/27/2016
Donald Trump.

Associated Press/Evan

  • President Donald Trump responded to a new threat from
    North Korea, touting what he called his “bigger more
    powerful” nuclear button.
  • During a televised speech on New Year’s Day, North
    Korean leader Kim Jong Un said that a nuclear button was
    “always on my desk.”

President Donald Trump’s flurry of tweets to kick off the new
year did not end on Tuesday, as he launched another fiery message to North Korean
leader Kim Jong Un in the late evening.

“North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear
Button is on his desk at all times,'” Trump tweeted. “Will
someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform
him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger
more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”

Trump appeared to refer to Kim Jong Un’s televised speech on New Year’s Day, in
which the North Korean leader alluded to a “nuclear button” that
was “always on my desk.”

“This is reality, not a threat,” Kim Jong Un reportedly said.
“This year we should focus on mass producing nuclear warheads and
ballistic missiles for operational deployment. These weapons will
be used only if our security is threatened.”

nuclear football
Lt. Commander Keith Davids carries the “football” containing
nuclear codes, April 18, 2005.


Despite Trump touting a “nuclear button,” a physical button in
which a US president can push to initiate a nuclear strike does
not appear to exist. Instead, a briefcase — referred to
as the “football” — carries authentication codes and accompanies
the president wherever he goes by a military aide.

Trump’s threat comes amid another warning from the US ambassador
to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who said on Tuesday that the
US would not take talks between South Korea and North Korea
seriously after South Korea proposed holding high-level talks
between the two nations at the North-South Korean border.

“We won’t take any of the talks seriously if they don’t do
something to ban all nuclear weapons in North Korea,” Haley said
during a press conference. “We consider this to be a very
reckless regime, we don’t think we need a Band-Aid and we don’t
think we need to smile and take a picture.”

Although current US officials have panned negotiations between
North and South Korea, former US officials
including former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper
— and many North Korea analysts appear to have accepted the
country’s nuclear ambitions and have approved the call for

“I can well envision a scenario where they would juxtapose a
missile test and as well agree to talk with the South Koreans,
which I think would be a good thing,” Clapper said. “It would do
a lot, I think, to relax some of the tensions. I think
negotiation is the only way ahead here, to me is no other
realistic option.”

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