President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump were departing the White House on Tuesday morning to head to Texas, where they will mostly be in the way of recovery efforts in the wake of the disaster that is Hurricane Harvey.
But before they left, Trump addressed the reports that North Korea had test-fired another ballistic missile, and in a particularly provocative move, had sent this one soaring over Japan.
First, there was the official White House press release:
The world has received North Korea’s latest message loud and clear: this regime has signaled its contempt for its neighbors, for all members of the United Nations, and for minimum standards of acceptable international behavior.
Threatening and destabilizing actions only increase the North Korean regime’s isolation in the region and among all nations of the world. All options are on the table.
Then the reporters assembled outside the White House asked Trump about it as he made his way to his helicopter:
Q: Mr. President, what are you going to do about North Korea?
TRUMP: We'll see. We'll see.
He followed that with the traditional thumbs-up that is his reaction to everything, be it an international threat in Asia or a hurricane drowning a chunk of one of the largest states in the nation.
Trump likes to say he won't talk about anything he's planning ahead of time, which I take to mean generally that he has no idea. This is particularly true in the case of North Korea. Bombing the country could start a wider war on a divided Korean peninsula where one side has nuclear weapons.
But he seems to think this squinty, say-little Clint-Eastwood-in-a-Sergio-Leone-flick shtick he keeps doing will intimidate people. In the case of Kim Jong Un and North Korea, it is obviously not working.
Below is the longer video clip, where you can see Trump is carrying one of his spiffy overpriced baseball caps, because you should never miss an opportunity to market your own merchandise.