President Donald Trump left an ominous impression on Thursday night when he met with senior military leaders.
The military leaders were at the White House with their spouses for dinner with the President and First Lady, to discuss military options with the President.
As they group was taking photos, the President said it was “the calm before the storm.” When asked what he meant, he replied: “You’ll find out.”
“We have the world’s great military people in this room,” he added.
Listen to the President’s remarks:
The President met with military leaders – including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis – so he could be provided with military options.
Lately, global affairs are up in the air, as it was reported this week that the President is expected to “decertify” the Iran nuclear deal, which would push the issue onto Congress’ shoulders. Trump has in the past said the deal is “one of the worst one-sided transactions the U.S. has ever entered into,” and it is not in America’s best interest.
During his speech last month at the United Nations General Assembly, Trump accused Iran of funding terrorists and creating a dangerous missile arsenal. The Iranian President later came out and said flatly that Iran wants to strengthen its missile capabilities – and doesn’t intend to ask permission to do it. And, Iran revealed a new ballistic missile during a military parade there.
The Iranian nuclear deal was drawn up in 2015. Its framework includes stipulations that Iran would redesign, convert and reduce its number of nuclear facilities in order to lift nuclear-related economical sanctions, which would reportedly free up billions of dollars in oil revenue and frozen assets for Iran. The U.S. and Iran also agreed to their own terms, along with terms penned with other nations.
President Trump had told the U.N. that the Iranian government “masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of a democracy,” and that it has “turned a wealthy country with rich history and culture into a rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos.”
Trump said the oil profits Iran makes “fund terrorists that kill innocent Muslims and attack peaceful neighbors.”
“We can’t let this happen while they also build dangerous missiles. We can’t abide by the agreement if they eventually construct a nuclear program,” the President said, pointing out that the Iran deal was “one of the worst one-sided transactions the U.S. has ever entered into,” and it’s an “embarrassment to the U.S.”
“I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it, believe me,” Trump said. “It’s time for the entire world to join us in telling Iran to stop pursuing death and destruction. […] Stop supporting terrorists.”
“We will stop radical Islamic terrorism because we can not allow it to tear up our nation and the entire world,” the President added.
Reuters had reported that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the agreement needs to change or the U.S. would not continue abiding by it, but that Iran has said the deal can’t be renegotiated.
Following the President’s U.N. address, Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said Trump’s speech was “absurd” and that the President was “seriously ill-informed” about the deal.
Also, tensions with North Korea are at an all-time high.
The President recently shut down Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s statements that the U.S. has an open line of communication with Pyongyang, and would hope to solve the conflict diplomatically. Trump alluded to the fact that his Administration and, most likely, the U.S. Military would be taking care of the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
Rhetoric has gone back and forth between the U.S. and North Korea all summer. Tensions can be cut with a knife, and the sometimes bizarre exchanges have left many Americans wondering exactly what is going to take place next.
- North Korea has claimed that President Trump “declared war” on the country after he tweeted that North Korea “won’t be around much longer” if it keeps threatening the United States. The White House issued a statement on Sept. 25 saying it had not declared war.
- On Sept. 25, North Korea’s foreign minister said Trump “declared war,” and that North Korea would shoot down U.S. bombers if it has to.
- On Sept. 23, the U.S. military sent Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers and F-15C Eagle fighter jets to fly over waters east of North Korea in a show-of-force against the country.
- The North Korean Foreign Minister had threatened to drop a Hydrogen bomb, or H-bomb, over the Pacific Ocean in response to President Donald Trump’s speech at the United Nations in September, telling reporters on Sept. 22. it could mean “the strongest Hydrogen bomb test over the Pacific Ocean.”
- North Korea threatened to test an H-bomb after a slew of accusations from North Korean dictator Jim Kong Un, in response to President Trump’s intense U.N. General Assembly speech on Sept. 19, during which the President said “Rocket Man” Kim Jong Un is on a “suicide mission” and that the U.S. would “totally destroy” North Korea if need be.
- On Sept. 21 – the same day that Trump signed new sanctions against North Korea – Kim Jong Un threatened President Trump that he would “pay dearly” for his threat to destroy North Korea if the U.S. had to defend itself States or its allies, and he also called Trump a “dotard.”
- In a rare appearance on camera on Sept. 21, Kim spoke directly and said that Trump was “unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country.” Kim also said that Trump is “a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire,” and that his U.N. speech showed “mentally deranged behavior.”
- On Sept. 20, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho had said the President’s speech and threats were “the sound of a dog barking.”
Sanctions against North Korea aim to impact the flow of cash to that country and cut off trade partners, as well. The sanctions could also have contributed to the intensity of Kim Jon Un’s most recent statement, as sanctions further and further alienate North Korea.
The sanctions against North Korea banned about 90 percent of North Korea’s exports, fully banning the country’s textile exports and reducing its oil and petroleum exports. The sanctions also banned the country’s overseas laborers, which provided nearly $500 million in revenue; and cut off all foreign investment with North Korea, its assets being frozen. They were passed unanimously by the U.N. Security Council – with both China and Russia voting in favor – following North Korea’s sixth ever successful nuclear missile launch and claims that the country now has a Hydrogen bomb it can place on an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
North Korea recently launched yet another missile, on Sept. 14, this one an intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan into the Pacific Ocean.
The North Korean launch came hours after North Korea threatened to blow the United States to “ashes and darkness” and has said it will “sink” the country of Japan, following a United Nations resolution that banned 90 percent of its exports. North Korea had promised the U.S. would “suffer the greatest pain it ever experienced in history” over the sanctions.
The United Nations in August also unanimously approved sanctions against North Korea in response to Kim Jong Un’s two successful intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) in July.
Then, North Korea threatened “thousands-fold” revenge on the United States following those sanctions, which cut North Korea’s export revenue by $1 billion, or about a third. The sanctions banned North Korea from exporting coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood.
North Korea’s sixth nuclear missile test caused a 6.3 earthquake and was roughly five times as large as the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, Japan. The test came hours after North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un claimed that it now had an H-bomb to put onto its long-range ICBMs.
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley has said that North Korea is “begging for war,” and that it’s time for the international community to impose the strongest possible sanctions against North Korea.
North Korea has come out slinging harsh words following U.N. Security Council sanctions that ban nearly all of its exports, saying this week that the U.S. faces “final ruin” it it goes to war with Kim Jong Un.