(AP/Evan Vucci)

Trump's tweet brings America closer to a nuclear war with North Korea

Experts are concerned that Trump's boast about having a "bigger" nuclear button is really dangerous


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Matthew Rozsa
January 3, 2018 1:02PM (UTC)

President Donald Trump tweeted about North Korea Monday, bragging that America has a "bigger" and "more powerful" nuclear button than Kim Jong-un. This has caused significant consternation among foreign policy experts.

Trump's tweet was issued after Kim delivered a New Year's Eve message on Monday that was perceived as threatening the United States.

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"The entire mainland of the U.S. is within the range of our nuclear weapons and the nuclear button is always on the desk of my office. They should accurately be aware that this is not a threat but a reality," Kim Jong-un said in his address, according to CNN.

Twitter users had plenty to say about Trump's decision to escalate the rhetoric with the North Korean despot.

Trump's provocative statement about North Korea came during a day in which he tweeted 17 times on a wide range of subjects, from immigration and Pakistan to more accusations directed at Hillary Clinton.

Of course, there were voices from the right lauding Trump's rhetoric on Twitter, even pulling out "alt-right" nomenclature to attack his critics.

"It really doesn’t matter what the president of the United States says any more because it’s so bizarre, strange, not true, infantile," Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., told CNN on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Eliot Cohen, a former top foreign policy official under George W. Bush, told the Guardian that Trump was acting like a 10-year-old "with nuclear weapons – for real – at his disposal. How responsible people around him, or supporting him, can dismiss this or laugh it off is beyond me." North Korea announced on Wednesday that it was reopening a cross-border communications channel with South Korea, according to the Associated Press. It is unclear whether this decision was made before or after Trump's nuclear tweet.


Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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