During a brief press conference held Friday after a workforce/apprenticeship discussion, President Donald Trump answered a few questions regarding the escalating situation between the U.S. and North Korea.
“Mr. President, what do you mean by military solutions are locked and loaded as it relates to North Korea,” a reporter asked.
Trump then said that he thought it was “obvious" what he meant, continuing by saying that he hopes North Korea is "going to fully understand the gravity of what I said. And what I said is what I mean. So hopefully, they'll understand. [...] Those words are very, very easy to understand.”
Pressed about the recently revealed back channel between the two countries, Trump demurred while also taking the opportunity to get another blow in on previous administrations.
“We don't want to talk about back channels. We want to talk about a country that has misbehaved for many, many years, decades actually, through numerous administrations,” he said. “They didn't want to take on the issue and I have no choice but to take it on. And I'm taking it on. We'll either be very, very successful quickly or we're going to be very, very successful in a different way quickly.”
Rounding out the brief Q&A came a question about the president's reaction to the criticism of his rhetoric where the North Korea situation was concerned.
First, Trump opined that if a previous president had made similar comments, the media would “say it was a wonderful statement.” He also claimed that “tens of millions” were “saying finally we have a president that is sticking up for our nation and frankly sticking up for our friends and our allies.”
He then added to the strong rhetoric, turning his pointed words to Kim Jong Un himself:
“This man will not get away with what he's doing. Believe me. If he utters one threat in the form of an overt threat — which by the way, he's been uttering for years and his family has been uttering for years or if he does anything with respect to Guam or anyplace else that is an American territory or an American ally, he will truly regret it.”
“He will regret it fast,” the president said, before thanking everyone for their time.