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Thursday, August 17, 2017, 12:38 p.m.

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VIDEO: North Korea dismisses Trump's threat, warns of 'absolute force'

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published August 9, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. Updated August 9, 2017 at 6:07 p.m.

president-donald-trump-flaneked-by-vice-president-mike-pence-and-secretary-of-state-rex-tillerson-listens-during-a-bilateral-meeting-with-vietnamese-prime-minister-nguyen-xuan-phuc-in-the-cabinet-room-of-the-white-house-in-washington-wednesday-may-31-2017-national-security-adviser-hr-mcmaster-is-second-from-right-ap-photoandrew-harnik

President Donald Trump, flaneked by Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, listens during a bilateral meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 31, 2017. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster is second from right. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

6 P.M. UPDATE:

WASHINGTON — North Korea on Wednesday officially dismissed President Donald Trump's threats of "fire and fury," declaring the American leader "bereft of reason" and warning, "Only absolute force can work on him."

In a statement released on state media, Gen. Kim Rak Gyom, who heads North Korea's rocket command, also said his country was "about to take" military action near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam. He said the North would finalize a plan by mid-August involving mid-range missiles hitting waters 19 to 25 miles away from the island.

The plan will then go to the commander-in-chief of North Korea's nuclear force and "wait for his order," Kim was quoted by KCNA as saying. He called it a "historic enveloping fire at Guam."

A day after evoking the use of overwhelming U.S. military might, Trump touted America's atomic supremacy. He said his first order as president was to "renovate and modernize" an arsenal that is "now far stronger and more powerful than ever before."

If Trump's goal with two days of tough talk was to scare North Korea, Kim, the commander, put that idea quickly to rest.

He called Trump's rhetoric a "load of nonsense" that was aggravating a grave situation.

"Sound dialogue is not possible with such a guy bereft of reason and only absolute force can work on him," the KNCA report quoted him saying.

Kim said the Guam action would be "an effective remedy for restraining the frantic moves of the U.S. in the southern part of the Korean peninsula and its vicinity."

Read Thursday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

EARLIER:

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump declared the U.S. nuclear arsenal "far stronger and more powerful than ever before," even as his top diplomat was working to calm the North Korea crisis and insisting there wasn't "any imminent threat."

In a series of early-morning tweets Wednesday, Trump reaffirmed his threat from a day earlier by reposting video of him warning that Pyongyang would be "met with fire and fury like the world has never seen" if it made more threats to the U.S. Then he said that his first order as president had been to "renovate and modernize" the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

"Hopefully we will never have to use this power, but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world!" Trump tweeted.

It wasn't immediately clear what evidence the president had, if any, to support his claim about the nuclear force. The White House wouldn't say, other than to point to an executive order Trump signed in his first days in office commissioning a review to ensure the U.S. nuclear deterrent is "modern, robust, flexible, resilient, ready" and tailored for 21st century threats.

The White House has not detailed any findings from that evaluation. A modernization effort started by former President Barack Obama is in the early stages, but the force is essentially unchanged from the way Trump inherited it on Jan. 20.

Only hours before Trump's tweets, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged calm and said Americans should have "no concerns" despite the exchange of threats between the president and North Korea. Aboard his plane as he flew home from Asia, Tillerson insisted the developments didn't suggest the U.S. was moving closer to a military option for dealing with the crisis.

"Americans should sleep well at night," Tillerson said. He added: "Nothing that I have seen and nothing that I know of would indicate that the situation has dramatically changed in the last 24 hours."

Tillerson sought to explain the thinking behind Trump's warning. He said the president was trying to send a strong and clear message to North Korea's leader so that there wouldn't be "any miscalculation."

"What the president is doing is sending a strong message to North Korea in language that Kim Jong Un would understand, because he doesn't seem to understand diplomatic language," Tillerson said. "I think the president just wanted to be clear to the North Korean regime on the U.S.'s unquestionable ability to defend itself." He said the U.S. "will defend itself and its allies."

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Comments on: VIDEO: North Korea dismisses Trump's threat, warns of 'absolute force'

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Displaying 1 - 6 of 6 total comments

RBear says... August 9, 2017 at 12:02 p.m.

For all those on the right who will herald this as an accomplishment by Trump, Obama started the review and Trump is continuing it unchanged. It is kind of bad when the SoS has to be the adult voice in the room instead of the president.

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3WorldState1 says... August 9, 2017 at 1:07 p.m.

He said it was more powerful and stronger than every before. They didn't finish that thought. He was saying he had made it that way in just the six months he's been in office. Generals today say that it's hogwash. That it would take a decade at the minimum to have any impact on our nuclear arsenal.
This guy is a pathological lair. And a disgrace to our country.

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23cal says... August 9, 2017 at 2:26 p.m.

"Then he said that his first order as president had been to "renovate and modernize" the U.S. nuclear arsenal."
It's bad enough that he expects his ignorant bobbleheaded followers to buy his nonstop pathological b.s., but now he he expects foreign leaders to buy it, too.
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There has been no renovation. There has been no modernization. As the article points out, he ordered a "review".
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Modernizing something like our nuclear arsonal is a decades long procurement program; and is pretty much in constant motion. We are always modernizing a program of this type. Trump just happens to be warming the seat during part of the nuclear era. That there are people stupid enough to think Trump could upgrade billion dollar missiles and munitions with the stroke of a pen is depressing.

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djigoo says... August 9, 2017 at 6:38 p.m.

Trump has accomplished exactly nothing with regards to our nuclear arsenal.

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Packman says... August 9, 2017 at 8:50 p.m.

So glad President Trump and James Mattis are in charge instead of the feckless BH Obama or the wife of the guy that enabled North Korea back in the day. Trump and Mattis ain't playing. If one bomb even gets close to Guam America's allies will cheer as a Tomahawk missile goes through little fat boy's front door.

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RBear says... August 9, 2017 at 9:19 p.m.

Pack, so glad folks like you aren't in charge. We'd be in crisis before you know it. A lot you know about foreign policy. Sorry buddy, but you have no clue at how the game is played on the big stage. Neither does your leader.

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