President Trump, who raised eyebrows when he tweeted last week that "there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea," has sent a letter to Congress telling lawmakers that, actually, Pyongyang remains "an unusual and extraordinary threat" to the United States.
The letter states Trump has determined the United States should extend the state of national emergency first declared against North Korea in 2008.
"The existence and risk of proliferation of weapons-usable fissile material on the Korean Peninsula; the actions and policies of the Government of North Korea that destabilize the Korean Peninsula and imperil United States Armed Forces, allies, and trading partners in the region, including its pursuit of nuclear and missile programs; and other provocative, destabilizing, and repressive actions and policies of the Government of North Korea continue to constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States," the letter states.
The letter clashes with Trump's June 13 tweet after he returned from a meeting with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un: "Just landed -- a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office. There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea. Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has great potential for the future!"
Trump was criticized on Capitol Hill for saying the threat from North Korea had been removed after only meeting with Kim. Following the meeting, Trump also ordered the suspension of U.S. joint military exercises with South Korea, which drew opposition from Democrats and Republicans alike.
Additionally, Harry Harris, Trump's nominee for ambassador to South Korea, said June 14 during a Senate nomination hearing that the nuclear threat stemming from North Korea remains a danger, despite the president's statements to the contrary.