United States has been conducting back-channel talks with North Korea for months


Xi Jinping, the leader of North Korea's key ally China, urged Trump on Saturday to avoid rhetoric that could inflame tensions, after the U.S. leader ramped up his warnings to Pyongyang, saying the Stalinist regime would "truly regret" taking hostile action against the United States.

Pyongyang recently said it was working on a plan to launch a medium-range ballistic missile near the USA territory of Guam, some 3,200 km from North Korea.

President Trump, in contrast, Savage said, responded to Kim's threat to fire missiles that would strike near the US territory of Guam with a warning that North Korea would be met with "fire and fury like the world has never seen".

That is classic military strategy pulled from the best-selling book, "101 Very Bad Ways to Deal with a Clearly Insane Nuclear-Armed Dictator". It's also exactly the sort of thing North Korea's supreme leader does routinely, and that's not a leadership model the United States should embrace.

Trump has urged China to apply more pressure on North Korea.

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"They're saying, 'All he really wants in the reunification of Korea.' Is that something you think would be good ... to let him reunify Korea into a hellhole?"

But Peter Galbraith, the former U.S. Ambassador to Croatia in the 1990s during the war in the Balkans, told the Herald the back channel between the U.S. and North Korea doesn't seem to be on par with the secret line of communication between Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Amid the recent spike in tensions, Trump threatened North Korea with "fire and fury like the world has never seen", later adding that the threat wasn't tough enough. No nuclear weapons were used, as they had been only a few years earlier in nearby Japan. You'll want to store some weight before the food shortages and, if you're in the blast zone, the pounds will just melt away anyway.

"And what none of us know is whether President Trump will ultimately accept a position in history which says, "I'm the guy and it was on my watch that this state finally crossed the threshold of constituting a threat to the U.S. mainland".