US President Donald Trump on Wednesday said the US had a bigger and more powerful nuclear button than that of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. “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!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
The US President was responding to the North Korean leader’s New Year address wherein he threatened US with his country’s nuclear abilities. In a televised speech on Monday, Kim said, “the entire United States is within range of our nuclear weapons, and a nuclear button is always on my desk. This is reality, not a threat.” He also said the North would mass produce nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles in 2018 for operational deployment and use the “nuclear button” if his country was threatened.
While Trump escalated the tension with the tweet, The Associated Press reported he doesn’t actually have a physical nuclear button. Explaining the protocol for launching a nuclear strike, AP reported said the process is secret and complex, and “involves the use of a nuclear “football,” which is carried by a rotating group of military officers everywhere the president goes and is equipped with communication tools and a book with prepared war plans. If the president were to order a strike, he would identify himself to military officials at the Pentagon with codes unique to him. Those codes are recorded on a card known as the “biscuit” that is carried by the president at all times. He would then transmit the launch order to the Pentagon and Strategic Command.”
This is not the first time Trump and Kim have mocked each other. In 2017, Trump had warned that the US would have no choice but to “totally destroy” North Korea if forced to defend itself or its allies. The US President also led a global campaign to pressure North Korea into giving up the development of nuclear-tipped missiles through sanctions. The United Nations has imposed unprecedented sanctions on North Korea over its weapons programmes.
North Korea regularly threatens to attack the United States, South Korea and Japan. It tested its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile in November, which it said was capable of delivering a warhead anywhere in the United States.