One day after two leaders, President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, exchanged intense rhetoric on the use of nuclear arsenal, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said current U.S. strategy is working, pointing to sweeping sanctions recently passed by the United Nations Security Council.
“The pressure is starting to show,” he said, adding that’s why North Korea’s rhetoric has become increasingly hostile.
President Trump on Tuesday said that North Korea “will be met with fire and fury” it continues threatening the U.S.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un previously threatened to send “packs of wolves” to “strangle” America and other countries after the United Nations (UN) imposed new sanctions on the country last weekend.
“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States” said Trump. “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.
“He has been very threatening beyond a normal state, and, as I said, they will be met with fire, fury and power the likes of which this world has never seen before.”
Trump’s comments followed a Washington Post report which revealed that the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) has determined that North Korea has achieved miniaturization, the process in which a nuclear warhead is made small enough to fit on a ballistic missile.
The intelligence community “assesses North Korea has produced nuclear weapons for ballistic missile delivery by ICBM- [intercontinental ballistic missile] class missiles,” said part of the report, according to the Post.
Experts previously believed that the Kim regime was still far from achieving miniaturization.
North Korea’s technological leap drastically increases the threat posed by the country, considering it already has a formidable missile arsenal.
David Wright, a missile expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists, told CNN that one of North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missiles tested in late July may have the capability to hit America’s West Coast.
The missile flew for 45 minutes, traveling 2,300 miles high and 621 miles long. Should it be fired on a flatter trajectory, it could easily threaten cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco.
A separate intelligence committee report claimed that Kim likely has around 60 nuclear weapons in his arsenal, according to the Post.