President Donald Trump on Sunday slapped new travel restrictions on citizens from North Korea, Venezuela and Chad, expanding to eight the list of countries covered by his original travel bans that have been derided by critics and challenged in court.
Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia were left on the list of affected countries in a new proclamation issued by the president. Restrictions on citizens from Sudan were lifted.
The measures help fulfill a campaign promise Trump made to tighten U.S. immigration procedures and align with his “America First” foreign policy vision. Unlike the president’s original bans, which had time limits, this one is open-ended.
“Making America Safe is my number one priority. We will not admit those into our country we cannot safely vet,” the president said in a tweet shortly after the proclamation was released.
In a statement written in the first person, published on the front pages of state newspapers and read on national television, Mr. Kim called Mr. Trump a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard” who had “denied the existence of and insulted me and my country in front of the eyes of the world.” Mr. Kim vowed to take the “highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history.”
In a country where the leader is essentially portrayed as a god, Mr. Kim’s decision to respond personally to Mr. Trump’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly and pledge reprisals escalated the standoff over the North’s nuclear program in a way that neither he nor his predecessors had done before.
Though the statement made no mention of nuclear weapons, in the context of a political system built on a cult of personality, Mr. Kim’s intervention appeared to sharply reduce the possibility that his government might retreat or compromise, even in the face of war.
Mr. Kim condemned Mr. Trump’s threat to “totally destroy” North Korea if the United States is forced to defend itself, and he declared that it had “convinced me, rather than frightening or stopping me, that the path I chose is correct and that it is the one I have to follow to the last.”
Shortly after Mr. Kim’s statement was released, his foreign minister, Ri Yong-ho, delivered prepared remarks to reporters outside his hotel in New York, saying it was up to Mr. Kim to decide what to do, but that North Korea might conduct the “biggest ever hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific.”
Mr. Ri could not have made such an alarming comment without approval from Mr. Kim, although some analysts question whether North Korea has the technology or political daring to conduct an atmospheric nuclear test, something the world has not seen for decades.
North Korea threatened to bring “nuclear clouds” to Japan and mocked Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for acting like a “headless chicken” at the United Nations General Assembly when the leader urged U.N. members to force North Korea to end its nuclear and missile programs.
Pyongyang claimed Japan was inciting more tension in the Korean peninsula, calling its plea to end Kim Jong Un’s nuclear goal a “suicidal deed” that will end with a nuclear attack to sink the island, according to a statement released Monday by the state’s official Korean Central News Agency.
“Japan's such rackets inciting the tension of the Korean peninsula is a suicidal deed that will bring nuclear clouds to the Japanese archipelago,” the statement said. “No one knows when the touch-and-go situation will lead to a nuclear war, but if so, the Japanese archipelago will be engulfed in flames in a moment. This is too self-evident."
President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday that 25 years of agreements with North Korea have failed, "making fools" of US negotiators.
Then he added cryptically that "only one thing will work."
In a pair of tweets sent Saturday afternoon, Trump said that past agreements with North Korea have all been violated.
"Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts of money paid ... hasn't worked, agreements violated before the ink was dry, makings fools of U.S. negotiators," Trump wrote. "Sorry, but only one thing will work!"
Asked by reporters later Saturday about the cryptic tweet, Trump would only say: "You'll figure that out pretty soon."