The Energy 202: Trump's lack of nuclear knowledge is what's really scary

Pauline Gross
August 12, 2017

The president reiterated his "fire and fury" rhetoric on Twitter Wednesday, saying, "My first order as President was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal".

While Trump said the nuclear arsenal was more powerful than ever before, USA officials say it takes decades to actually modernize nuclear weapons, a move already under way under President Barack Obama's administration, and there are treaties that regulate nuclear expansion.

Tillerson says that "Americans should sleep well at night".

As for the Navy, its aircraft carriers no longer carry tactical nuclear weapons, nor do its surface warships carry nuclear-capable cruise missiles.

This morning, North Korea said it was "carefully examining" a plan to strike the U.S. territory of Guam with ballistic missiles.

The legislation against first use of nuclear weapons also has support from several peace groups, the Quakers and former Obama Administration Defense Secretary William Perry.

Over the past 24 hours, USA analysts revealed that North Korea is (probably) capable of producing nuclear-tipped missiles; the American president implicitly threatened to drop a historically large nuclear weapon on Pyongyang if the DPRK so much as makes "any more threats" against the United States; and Kim Jong-un's regime immediately countered with a threat to bomb the us territory of Guam - where Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was imminently scheduled to land. He added: "Nothing that I have seen and nothing that I know of would indicate that the situation has dramatically changed in the last 24 hours".

The petition asks lawmakers to step in and give themselves power to veto Trump's march towards "an unthinkable global catastrophe", Cantor said.

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What a US Nuclear Strike on North Korea Would Look Like
He said nothing - not even sanctions against China - will prompt them "to do our bidding" with North Korea. Liou said Japan's comments were squarely aimed at ensuring a continued US military presence in the region.

The Minister for Justice has hit out at the language used by the leaders of North Korea and the United States as tensions continue to rise.

Tillerson said Trump "was sending a strong message to North Korea in a language Kim Jong Un would understand". "I think the president just wanted to be clear to the North Korean regime that the USA has unquestionable ability to defend itself, will defend itself and its allies, and I think it was important that he deliver that message to avoid any miscalculation on their part". "I think that once the nuclear alternative happens, it's over", he said.

"Should Tillerson be listened to?" a reporter asked.

On Jan. 27, Trump made an executive order to create the Nuclear Posture Review, which will analyze the U.S.' nuclear capabilities.

Tillerson said he never considered re-routing his trip from Malaysia so as to avoid stopping in Guam.

Though it's extremely unlikely the North would risk annihilation by pre-emptively attacking American citizens, the escalating rhetoric has heightened concern that a miscalculation could spiral out of control and lead to military conflict - a concern especially acute in Guam, residents of the territory said. "And he's certainly not going to be doing those things", he said. "He's not going to contain the threat".

Some legal experts are warning that since North Korea is not an imminent threat, that is to say there is no reason to believe North Korea is about to attack the U.S., there exists no legal justification for preemptive action at all.

Trump's "fire and fury" remarks prompted warnings from US officials and analysts not to engage in rhetorical slanging matches with Pyongyang. The order said the review should ensure America's nuclear deterrent is robust, ready and tailored to address 21st century threats. "I think that's why the rhetoric coming out of Pyongyang is beginning to become louder and more threatening".

Other reports by GizPress

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