In an interview today, President Trump said that Americans are “probably not safe over here” in the United States so long as North Korea has a nuclear arsenal, saying that US has “great brave proof” but that nobody is safe while “the guy’s got nuclear weapons.”
Over the past several weeks, the Trump Administration has sent a lot of mixed signals about the US position on North Korea, at times making it seem that a US attack on the nation was imminent, at times downplaying North Korea’s retaliatory capabilities and declaring diplomacy a failure, while still other times suggesting that direct negotiations are possible.
In reality, North Korea’s ability to deliver nuclear weapons on missiles is very uncertain, and their missiles beyond the short range are dodgy at best. That is all largely irrelevant to the question of North Korea retaliating against a US attack, as they retain a conventional arsenal capable of wiping out much of South Korea.
CIA Director Mike Pompeo was in South Korea today to meet with US diplomats in the area, and that too drew attention to the growing US focus on the Korean Peninsula. While Pompeo wasn’t exactly public in his comments, his visit is the latest in a series of high-profile administration officials showing up, all eyes are likely to remain on North Korea for the foreseeable futures.