Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

White House Weighs Response to North Korea’s Threats

| Sep. 22, 2017

WASHINGTON — The war of words between President Trump and Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader, raised concerns on Friday that it could escalate into a new and more volatile phase as the White House weighed its next steps in response to a threat by Pyongyang to conduct the world’s first atmospheric nuclear test in 37 years.

Mr. Trump derided Mr. Kim as a “madman” on Friday, hours after the North Korean called him a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard,” the sort of name-calling exchange most presidents have avoided. North Korea’s accompanying warning that it might test a nuclear bomb over the Pacific Ocean added fresh urgency to an administration debate over options for a pre-emptive strike if preparations for a launch are detected.

Mr. Trump’s long-distance confrontation with “Rocket Man,” as he earlier dubbed Mr. Kim, defied diplomatic convention and took the penchant for reality-show insults that he perfected on the campaign trail to the international arena — only with potential real-world consequences.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Sanger, David and Peter Baker.“White House Weighs Response to North Korea’s Threats.” The New York Times, September 22, 2017.

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