Trump: N. Korea Made ‘A Very Wise’ Decision In Backing Down From Threats

President Donald Trump stands as he waits to bestow the nation's highest military honor, the Medal of Honor to retired Army medic James McCloughan during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, July 31, 2017. McCloughan is credited with saving the lives of members of his platoon nearly 50 years ago in the Battle of Nui Yon Hill in Vietnam. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Dialing back his provocative rhetoric, President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday morning saying North Korea’s leader made a “very wise” and “well-reasoned” choice when he decided to back down from threats of launching a missile at Guam, a U.S. territory.

The tweet came after a week of back-and-forth threats between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un following reports that North Korea had successfully developed a nuclear warhead that could fit inside a ballistic missiles.

Trump told reporters that the country’s nuclear capabilities would be met with “fire and fury” if Kim didn’t back down. North Korea responded by drafting an attack plan to launch at missile at Guam.

On Tuesday, North Korean state media reported that Kim had decided not to launch the missile, but threatened he may change his mind “if the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

Despite heightened tensions between the two countries, a Politico and Morning Consult poll published Wednesday found that the majority of Americans were no more in favor of military action against North Korea this month than they were in July.

Both last month and this month, 78 percent of voters said the U.S. should continue taking a diplomatic approach to get North Korea to end its nuclear weapons program.

Forty-six percent of voters said they thought Trump’s “fire and fury” comments were appropriate and 39 percent thought it was inappropriate to say. About 28 percent said they have no confidence in Trump to handle threats from North Korea, the poll found.

The poll was conducted from Aug. 10 to 14 and surveyed 1,997 registered voters. The margin of error was +/- 2 percentage points.

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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