by WorldTribune Staff, January 3, 2017
In one three-word tweet, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump managed to both issue a “clear warning” to a notorious rogue state and reassure South Korea of America’s “unwavering stance” against North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un said on Jan. 1 that Pyongyang was close to test-launching an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) which could put parts of the United States in range.
A North Korean ICBM, once fully developed, could threaten the continental United States, which is about 9,000 kilometers (5,500 miles) from the North.
“It won’t happen,” Trump tweeted.
South Korea’s foreign ministry said on Jan. 3 that Trump’s tweet, his first mention of the North Korean nuclear issue since the U.S. election in November, could be interpreted as a “clear warning” to the North.
“Because of our active outreach, President-elect Trump and U.S. officials are clearly aware of the gravity and urgency of the North Korean nuclear threat,” ministry spokesman Cho June-Hyuck told a briefing.
“They are maintaining an unwavering stance on the need for sanctions on North Korea and for close cooperation between South Korea and the U.S.”
The U.N. Security Council imposed new sanctions on North Korea at the end of November after Pyongyang carried out its fifth and largest nuclear test so far in September.