'Fire and fury' not tough enough - Trump on North Korea

  • 11/08/2017

US President Donald Trump says Americans and allies are safe despite threatening to ramp up his "fire and fury" war of words with North Korea and refusing to rule out a pre-emptive strike on the rogue state.

Mr Trump's sabre-rattling remarks at his Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey on Thursday came as allies including Australia backed a diplomatic and economic campaign to force North Korea to end its pursuit of nuclear missiles.

Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop described language used by Mr Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as bellicose and provocative.

Mr Trump, however, declined to step back from his threat to hit North Korea "with fire and fury like the world has never seen".

"If anything, maybe that statement wasn't tough enough and we are backed 100 percent by our military, we're backed by everybody and we're backed by many other leaders," Mr Trump, standing alongside Vice President Mike Pence at the Bedminster golf club, told reporters.

North Korea is also refusing to back off, announcing a plan to fire four missiles near the US Pacific territory of Guam would be completed in days.

Mr Trump shrugged off North Korea's threat.

"The people of our country are safe," Mr Trump said.

"Our allies are safe and I will tell you this, North Korea better get their act together or they are going to be in trouble like few nations ever have been in trouble in this world."

Mr Trump also said he thought China, North Korea's main trading partner, "can do a lot more, yes, and I think China will do a lot more".

Asked if he would launch a pre-emptive attack on North Korea Mr Trump said he did not want to flag his intentions.

"The people of this country should be very comfortable and I will tell you this," Mr Trump said. "If North Korea does anything in terms of even thinking about attack of anybody that we love or we represent, or our allies or us, they can be very, very nervous."

World stocks fell for a third day, with shares in Seoul slumping to a seven-week low.

While North Korea regularly threatens to destroy the United States and its allies, the latest threats have been unusual in their detail.

They follow two successful tests of an intercontinental missile by the isolated state in July and a series of other missile tests.

Angered as the US and its allies ignore Chinese calls to calm tensions over North Korea, and distracted by domestic concerns, China is largely sitting out the crisis.

Reuters / Newshub.