North Korea’s advancement in its nuclear weapons program Tuesday was met with criticism from President Donald Trump, who threatened “fire and fury” should the country attack the United States. It was also met with fear and apprehension from people — including those in Seattle — worried they could be affected by a nuclear strike.
Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Deputy Assistant to President Trump, told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson that he’s not advocating for people to run for the hills. He called North Korea’s latest threat “an exercise in blackmail.”
“Look, we’re not going to say we have a crystal ball, but when the president, when his cabinet members, say this is a grave threat, you need to take that statement at face value,” Dr. Gorka said in response to whether North Korea posed a threat to Seattle.
“However, we need to put it in context,” he said. “This isn’t a case of gloom and doom and that everybody should be running for the shelters. This is blackmail. This is decades of blackmail and this administration will not give into blackmail.”
In a unanimous Aug. 6 decision, the UN Security Council voted to impose new sanctions on North Korea in response to the country’s focus on its nuclear weapons program and increasing number of missile tests (including two tests of intercontinental missiles). The sanctions could cost the country $1 billion in export revenue.
North Korea threatened to retaliate “thousands of times over” against the U.S. as a response to the sanctions. Dr. Gorka said ultimately he believes North Korea’s most recent threat, while grave, is in an effort to seek more concessions and recognition.
“This is a serious threat,” Dr. Gorka said. “Not just to our partners and our allies, but also to the United States because every step along the way North Korea has escalated, not ramped down, but escalated the threat to the region and to the United States.”
Listen above as Dr. Gorka discusses the threat posed by North Korea, and the Trump administration’s efforts to tame the threat of ISIS.