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Yesterday afternoon, our lovely president Donald Trump stated during a photo op at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, "#North Korea best not make any more threats to the US. They will be met with #Fire And Fury like the world has never seen." This is because Pyongyang threatened the US, saying, "[the US will] pay the price for its crime... thousands of times," due to the US' involvement with the UN sanction decision. This is all in light of the fact that last Friday in an intelligence report, it was said that Pyongyang has ICBMs capable of hitting anywhere in the world and has the potential to hit several US cities -- although the US military estimates the ICBM to be a lower range that could hit Alaska.

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According to intelligence community reports, Pyongyang has produced a nuclear warhead small enough to fit on a missile.

What is going on?

Several days ago the UN Security Council unanimously approved sanctions on North Korea which are expected to cut their export revenue by a third. North Korea then threatened the US for its role in the sanctions, which came days after reports showing that Pyongyang miniaturized a nuclear warhead. Trump immediately escalated this showdown by breaking years of national security conversations with an improvised statement threatening to use nuclear weapons against an adversary. Hours after, the president threatened North Korea. According to Pyongyang's state-run media, they are "examining the operational plan" to strike areas around Guam.

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What does this mean for the US?

Trump has always had a credibility issue. Recent CNN polls show that almost seventy-five percent of Americans do not trust what comes out of the White House. Also, a little over sixty percent of Americans do not think Trump has the ability to handle this crisis. With all this in mind, Trump may have backed himself into a corner since he promised action against North Korea that he may not be willing to actually do, and for the sake of US credibility Trump may have to back up his threat. Trump may have very well played into Pyongyang's plan. Trump's actions will help Pyongyang spread its narrative that the US wants war.

War?

Despite their threats, it is unlikely that North Korea will attack the Guam or our allies in the area (South Korea, Japan, and Hawaii) because this could lead to a war with the United States -- a war that could very well be nuclear. This theoretical war would end very badly for the Korean Peninsula. Kim Jong-un is rational enough, and the ability to strike the US gives North Korea a chance at survival because it means the US will not attack them when the threat of a nuclear strike is imminent.

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Attacking the US would mean massive devastation for the Korean Peninsula.

However, China may back North Korea. China has been very reluctant to act on North Korea because if they help the US they will be met with a refugee crisis, and it would bring the US to their border. China has tried to broker peaceful negotiations between the US and North Korea which #Donald Trump has denied. So, China will most likely not act aggressively. Pyongyang is likely employing these tactics to strike fear in the hearts of Americans.