Trump: ‘I’ll Fix The Mess’ That Is North Korea

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in the Rose Garden of the White House, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/AP

Repeating his rhetoric that the U.S. is “totally prepared” to take military action against North Korea if it needs to, President Donald Trump told reporters Tuesday he plans to “fix the mess” that previous administrations left him regarding North Korea.

Responding to questions about reports that North Korea’s top diplomat thinks that Trump’s tweets about Kim Jong Un were a declaration of war, Trump said “it will be devastating” for North Korea if the U.S. decides to take military action against the country.

“[Kim] is acting very badly. He is saying things that should never, ever be said. And we’re replying to those things, but it’s a reply, it’s not an original statement,” he said during a press conference with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy at the White House.

On Saturday Trump tweeted that if North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho “echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer!”

Ri told reporters Monday that Trump’s tweet was a “declaration of war” and that the country has “every right” to “shoot down the United States strategic bombers even (sic) they’re not yet inside the airspace border of our country.”

Trump said the country should have been “handled 25 years ago, 20 years ago, 15 years ago, 10 years ago, five years ago and it could’ve been handled much more easily.”

“You had various administrations, many administrations which left me a mess. but I’ll fix the mess. So we’ll see what happens with North Korea,” he said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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