Trump goes after DPRK over nuclear weapon capability

World Today

President-elect Donald Trump speaks to reporters at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter to vow that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) won’t develop a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the United States.

Trump’s tweet on Monday night U.S. time was in response to DPRK leader Kim Jong Un, who said Sunday in his annual New Year’s address that preparations for launching an intercontinental ballistic missile have “reached the final stage.” He did not explicitly say a test was imminent.

Trump tweeted, “North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the U.S. It won’t happen!”

The morning after the tweet, top aide Kellyanne Conway said that while Trump was putting the DPRK “on notice,” he was “not making policy at the moment.” Conway, who will serve as Trump’s White House counselor, said that as president, he “will stand between them and missile capabilities.”

China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang responded to the Trump comments, saying “China’s position is consistent and clear. We remain committed to realizing denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, maintaining peace and stability of the Peninsula, and resolving the issue through dialogue and consultation.”

“The efforts we have made towards these ends are clear for all to see. We hope that instead of saying or doing anything that may escalate tensions, all parties should take joint actions to move the issue back onto the track of dialogue and negotiation at an early date,” Shuang said.

Outsiders don’t know for sure whether the DPRK can arm any of its ballistic missiles, regardless of range, with nuclear warheads yet.

Story is by The Associated Press