President Trump’s tough language toward North Korea is causing many in the mainstream media to clutch their pearls and accuse Trump of being rash and reckless — but over 20 years ago, President Bill Clinton used similarly tough language against the same regime.
Trump set the media and Twitter into panic-mode when he gave a stark warning to Pyongyang Tuesday after the Washington Post reported that the rogue regime had developed miniaturized nuclear weapons for its missiles, with the ability to hit the United States.
“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” Trump said.
Liberals quickly condemned Trump’s remarks, with many predicting the end of the world on Twitter. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called Trump’s words “reckless.”
“We need to be firm and deliberate with North Korea, but reckless rhetoric is not a strategy to keep America safe,” he said.
A New York Times report on Trump’s remarks said it “was more typical of North Korean propagandists than it was of past American presidents.” Even Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) expressed displeasure at the remarks, saying, “all it’s going to do is bring us closer to some kind of serious confrontation.”
But back in 1993, President Bill Clinton gave perhaps an even starker warning to North Korea. In a trip to Seoul, South Korea, Clinton said that if North Korea gained and used a nuclear weapon “we would quickly and overwhelmingly retaliate.”
“It would mean the end of their country as they know it,” he said, according to a New York Times report at that time.
The North Korean government subsequently responded angrily and in kind to the threat from the new president.
“The United States must ponder over the fatal consequences that might arise from its rash act,” the government said in a statement. “If anyone dares to provoke us, we will immediately show him in practice what our bold decision is.”
Clinton would go on to negotiate an “Agreed Framework” in 1994 that was hailed as a way to prevent North Korea from getting a nuclear weapon, a deal that is now widely accepted as being a complete failure.
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY