President Trump has a sense of humor that is rarely seen in Washington DC, often taking some of the nation’s most precarious situations and turning them on their head with his flippancy and dismissive snark.
Not everyone is laughing, however, after the Commander in Chief mocked North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s recent threat of sending a “Christmas gift” to the United States. The coming “gift” is widely believed to be a long-range ballistic missile launch, or perhaps even a nuclear test that would defy any progress the DPRK has made in international negotiations.
President Trump quipped on Christmas Eve that the present could be a “beautiful vase” – a remark that undercut Kim’s serious tone.
Now, some in the national security sector are imploring the President to take a hard line approach against the dainty despot.
Gordon Chang, Asia analyst and author of “The Coming Collapse of China,” said it is unclear what exactly Kim might do but it won’t be “something good.”
He anticipated Kim Jong Un will use a new year’s address to say denuclearization is off the table – and urged Trump to respond swiftly if so, with action over insults.
“The insulting really doesn’t help,” he told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom,” referring to the infamous bout of name-calling between the two back in 2017. “What the United States needs to do at this point is actually to start to robustly enforce sanctions.”
Chang said Kim has not “reciprocated the good will from” Trump, “so it’s time for President Trump to actually make Kim hurt.” He urged the U.S. to cut off the flow of money and resources to North Korea by going after countries like China flouting sanctions.
“I think that it’s time for President Trump to lower the boom” on North Korea and its sponsors, he said.
Former national security adviser John Bolton had a similarly worry about the United States’ policy toward North Korea, admitting in a recent Axios article that America had not been applying “maximum pressure” in their dealing with Kim as of late.