President Trump issued yet another provocative warning of military action against North Korea on Friday, the third time in a week that he has suggested he was ready to strike the small, isolated Asian country that has been developing nuclear weapons capable of reaching the United States.
In an early-morning Twitter post, Mr. Trump used language to suggest that military forces were on the edge of action against the government of Kim Jong-un, which has demonstrated rapid progress in its nuclear program in recent months and threatened to launch missiles toward the American territory of Guam in response to the president’s earlier warning.
As a practical matter, Mr. Trump’s comment does not necessarily indicate a specific change in military readiness or any imminent action.
The motto of American forces based alongside allied troops in South Korea is “Ready to Fight Tonight,” and there has been little if any sign of mobilization that might suggest preparations for a strike. Even without nuclear weapons, North Korea has an array of conventional artillery that analysts have said could lay waste to Seoul and other parts of South Korea if war were to start.