Tillerson tries to tone shit down after Trump's irresponsible nuclear threats

Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews last week. Credit Al Drago for The New York Times

Speaking at a photo op at his Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump warned North Korea not to threaten the United States again or it would "face fire and fury like the world has never seen".

Trump tweeted Wednesday: "My first order as President was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal. It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before", he wrote on Twitter.

President Trump boasted on Wednesday that he had made US nuclear weapons more powerful.

Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives, said Trump's threat to North Korea "is reckless and shows a serious lack of judgment".

President Donald Trump is prone to exaggeration (at times he has even been accused of saying things that are downright false), and that includes, apparently, when he is talking about nuclear weapons.

This is why it's quite ironic that in an effort to intimidate North Korea, President Trump seems to be telling some tall tails of his own. But he added: "Hopefully we will never have to use this power".

He said the president's threat to North Korea was "like pouring gasoline on a fire".

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"I think that the President, again, as commander-in-chief, I think he felt it necessary to issue a very strong statement directly to North Korea", Tillerson said.

Newsweek asked Stephen Schwartz, an independent nuclear weapons expert and editor/co-author of the book Atomic Audit, if Trump's tweets Wednesday morning were true.

"Nothing has changed in the capability or power of the nuclear arsenal since President Trump took the Oval Office", he said.

After Trump's "fire and fury" comment, Pyongyang announced it was examining plans for attacking the tiny Pacific island of Guam, home to a U.S. military base.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says he doesn't believe there is "any imminent threat" from North Korea, including to the US territory of Guam.

In an interview with BBC radio, Gorka reacted to a statement by Tillerson that a conflict with the isolated communist state was not imminent and that "Americans should sleep well at night". He says that they should "have no concerns about this particular rhetoric of the last few days".

White House deputy adviser Sebastian Gorka dismissed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's reassurances that "Americans should sleep well at night" in response to escalating tensions between the US and North Korea.

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