President Donald Trump told Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity the threatening rhetoric used to bring North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un to the negotiation table made him feel “foolish.”
The surprise admission came after Hannity asked the President about criticism stemming from the bombast he directed at the North Korean leader during an interview which will air Tuesday evening.
“A lot of people critics quickly saying when you said ‘Little Rocket Man’ or ‘fire and fury,’ or when he said, ‘Oh, I’ve got a red button on my desk,’ and you said, ‘Well, mine’s bigger and it works better than yours,’ how did it evolve from that to this?” Hannity asked.
“I think without the rhetoric we wouldn’t have been here. I really believe that. You know, we did sanctions and all the things you would do,” President Trump said.
“[O]ther administrations, I don’t want to get specific on that, but you know they had a policy of silence.”
“If [North Korea] said something very bad and very threatening and horrible, just don’t answer. That’s not the answer. That’s not what you have to do. So I think the rhetoric — I hated to do it, sometimes I felt foolish doing it — but we had no choice.”
President Trump warned Kim Jong-un before the United Nations General Assembly last September that the U.S. stands ready to obliterate North Korea.
“The U.S. has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” the President warned.
“Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and his regime. The U.S. is ready, willing, and able, but hopefully, this will not be necessary.”
In response to Kim boasting of North Korea’s nuclear capabilities in December of last year, President Trump warned the dictator the U.S. possesses a far more powerful arsenal.
“North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times,’” tweeted Trump. “Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018