Donald Trump warns "only one thing will work" to deal with North Korea.

Donald Trump Issues Yet Another Creepily Ominous Message That Hints at War

Donald Trump Issues Yet Another Creepily Ominous Message That Hints at War

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Oct. 8 2017 8:45 AM

Donald Trump Issues Yet Another Creepily Ominous Message That Hints at War

President Donald Trump walks across the South Lawn to the White House on October 7, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

Shawn Thew-Pool/Getty Images

President Donald Trump seems to be trying to tell us something. Whether he knows what it is yet remains a mystery but the commander in chief does appear to want to at least raise the specter of a possible crisis or armed conflict in the near future. First on Thursday, he cryptically told reporters they were witnessing “the calm before the storm.” Trump, and then the White House, refused to elaborate on what exactly the president meant. “You’ll find out,” is all Trump seemed to be able to say when he was asked about the five ominous-sounding words.

Then on Saturday afternoon, Trump once again got people worried by bluntly stating that “only one thing will work” when it comes to dealing with North Korea because efforts at diplomacy have failed. “Agreements violated before the ink was dry, making fools of U.S. negotiators,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Sorry, but only one thing will work!” What exactly was this “thing”? The president obviously didn’t say but it is getting people thinking about the possibility of a military conflict considering the president had warned the United States could “totally destroy” North Korea.


Trump wrote his latest ominous-sounding tweet shortly after two Russian lawmakers said North Korea is planning to test a missile that could be capable of reaching the West Coast of the United States. “They are preparing for new tests of a long-range missile. They even gave us mathematical calculations that they believe prove that their missile can hit the west coast of the United States,” Anton Morozov, a lawmaker in Russia’s lower house said on Friday.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said over the weekend that the country’s nuclear arsenal is a “powerful deterrent” to the United States. Although Kim made the comments Saturday they were reported hours after Trump’s “only one thing will work” tweet. The words were seen as a sign that Pyongyang has no intention to back down from its nuclear ambitions at a time when there is broad concern North Korea could carry out a major weapons test in the near future to mark the anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party on Tuesday.

In an interview that aired Saturday night, Trump complained that he even had to deal with North Korea in the first place. “This should have been handled 25 years ago,” Trump told former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on his new TBN show Huckabee. “This should have been handled 10 years ago. It should have been handled during the Obama administration. The truth is, Mike, I was handed a mess. Not only there, I was handed a mess in the Middle East. Just a total mess.”

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.