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Trump: North Korea leader Kim Jong Un 'will regret it fast' if he threatens U.S. or allies

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President Trump has issued a third warning to North Korean President Kim Jong Un. Veuer’s Natasha Abellard (@NatashaAbellard) has the story. Buzz60

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President Trump warned Friday that if North Korean leader Kim Jong Un threatens the United States or takes action against Guam, “he will truly regret it, and he will regret it fast.”

Expounding on his early morning tweet that U.S. forces were “locked and loaded” for a potential military face-off with the reclusive, nuclear-armed nation, Trump told reporters at his Bedminster, N.J., golf club that U.S. action would be “very, very successful quickly.”

Later on Friday, Trump also raised the specter of military action in Venezuela, saying: “We have many options for Venezuela, and by the way, I’m not going to rule out a military option.”

After meeting with U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Trump said the situation in Venezuela was a “mess” after last week’s installation by President Nicolas Maduro of a new legislative body with broad powers to rewrite the South American nation’s constitution. Trump and other Latin American leaders agree that the result is a dictatorship.

“This is our neighbor,” Trump said. “We’re all over the world and we have troops all over the world in places that are very, very far away. Venezuela is not very far away, and the people are suffering, and they’re dying.”

The president did not answer questions about whether he wanted regime change there or in North Korea.

Trump refused to discuss any back-channel diplomatic overtures with North Korea, which the Associated Press reported have been ongoing over the past few months. But he did say the U.S. was considering sanctions against Pyongyang that are “as strong as they get.”

He planned to speak with Chinese President Xi Jinping later Friday evening and said he remained hopeful the standoff with North Korea “will all work out” with a “peaceful solution.”

But as he has done all week, the president appeared more eager to herald U.S. military readiness. Asked what he meant by his earlier “locked and loaded” tweet, Trump said, “I think it’s pretty obvious.” Earlier this week, Trump threatened North Korea with “fire and fury.”

More: ‘Locked and loaded’: Military options Trump might choose in a war with North Korea

U.S. and North Korea are in regular contact through back channel diplomacy

President Trump: Maybe my ‘fire and fury’ threats against North Korea weren’t tough enough

“I hope they are going to fully understand the gravity of what I said, and what I said is what I mean,” Trump said. “So hopefully, they (North Korea) will understand…. Those words are very, very easy to understand.”

Without mentioning him by name, Trump cautioned North Korea’s 33-year-old leader.

“This man will not get away with what he is doing, believe me,” the president said.

“And if he utters one threat, in the form of an overt threat – which, by the way, he has been uttering for years, and his family has been uttering for years – or if he does anything with respect to Guam, or any place else that’s an American territory or an American ally, he will truly regret it and he will regret it fast.”

Tillerson, standing next to Trump later Friday, said he and the president were on the same page. “What the president is doing is trying to support our efforts by making sure North Korea understands what the stakes are,” he said.

Trump also said German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s warning earlier Friday that there could be no military solution to the North Korean situation wasn’t true. Merkel said “an escalation of rhetoric (is) the wrong answer,” at a Berlin press conference.

“Perhaps she is referring to Germany,” Trump responded. “She’s certainly not referring to the United States, that I can tell you.”

The Trump presidency: A new era in Washington

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