Is Kim Jong Un supposed to take Trump's threat literally or figuratively? - Top 10 Listverse Car Review UFO Alien
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Is Kim Jong Un supposed to take Trump's threat literally or figuratively?

Washington (CNN) - Following Donald Trump's massive upset last November, conventional wisdom settled on a simple concept to explain his victory: The media (and Democrats) took Trump literally but not seriously while his supporters took him seriously but not literally.


It was a concise way of understanding the Trump phenomenon -- and all of the cavalier, intemperate and downright nasty things he said during the campaign about, among others, Hillary Clinton, women, the party establishment and a variety of foreign leaders.

His supporters viewed all of it as Trump being Trump -- a showman putting on a show. They liked that he was willing to say whatever came into his mind, but they didn't expect him to actually, say, build a wall across the southern border and make Mexico pay for it.

The media and his opponents, on the other hand, took his rhetoric at face value and tried to extrapolate what that sort of approach might mean in a president. They never thought he'd get there, of course.

Which brings us to today or, more accurately, Tuesday afternoon when Trump said this in reaction to the news that North Korea had miniaturized a nuclear weapon: "They will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before."

"Fire" and "fury." "Power the likes of which this world has never seen before."

Taken literally, Trump's statement translates to: Don't test me North Korea. If you fire a nuclear weapon anywhere -- Guam, the western United States, anywhere -- I will authorize strikes that will blow your regime to smithereens. We will obliterate you. And I am willing -- maybe very willing -- to do just that if provoked any further. I repeat: Do not test me.

He then touted the US nuclear arsenal on Wednesday morning: "My first order as President was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal. It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before ... Hopefully we will never have to use this power, but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world!"


Taken less-than-literally, Trump's statements go like this: I am tough -- way tougher than Barack Obama. No, I am not going to get the US into a nuclear war in the Korean peninsula because of Kim Jong Un's provocations. But I want him -- and the Chinese and anyone else listening -- to know that I am not going to be bullied around, rhetorically or otherwise, by anyone.

So, which is it? And, more importantly, is Kim Jong Un taking Trump literally but not seriously or the other way around?

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in Guam on Wednesday, sought to influence that perception, making clear that this was Trump speaking seriously, but not literally. "The President was sending a strong message to North Korea in language Kim Jong Un would understand," Tillerson told reporters. But, he added, that nothing had changed militarily in the region; "Americans should sleep well at night," said Tillerson.

My guess is that you'll see more of that sort of talk from US diplomats and White House officials today -- assertions that Trump wanted to get Kim's attention but that he also understands the perils of escalating a conflict in the Korean peninsula.

Again, however, none of that "seriously but not literally" talk from the US ensures that Kim will take it the way people like Tillerson are assuring that he -- and we -- should.

This was always the risk voters took in electing Trump -- someone with no prior military or political experience who built a brand on his willingness to say the things no one else would. His brashness and bluster paid off during the 2016 campaign as it sounded to most people like just the sort of anti-politician they were looking for.

But, running for President is different than being President. And, as President, Trump's penchant for popping off can be interpreted (and misinterpreted) in ways that have more far-reaching impacts than he may intend.

This North Korea showdown is the first major test of how Trump's approach to politics works in foreign affairs. Or, more frighteningly for all of us, doesn't work.

Tip leads to arrest of suspect in Missouri officer’s death

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A man charged in the shooting death of a western Missouri police officer has been arrested after an alert driver provided a tip that the fugitive was wandering within miles of where the killing took place, a law enforcement official said.

The driver reported seeing Ian McCarthy walking along a state highway near Bucksaw Marina, just east of Clinton, and he was arrested without incident late Tuesday, Sgt. Bill Lowe of the Missouri Highway Patrol said at a news conference later that night.

The arrest ended a two-day manhunt that began after 37-year-old Clinton police officer Gary Michael was shot to death during a traffic stop Sunday night in Clinton, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) southeast of Kansas City.

Michael and McCarthy had exchanged gunfire before the officer died and the driver fled. Lowe said McCarthy, 39, was suffering from a gunshot wound when a patrol trooper arrested him. Lowe declined to provide specifics about the gunshot wound except to say “Officer Michael was heroic to the end.”

McCarthy was taken to a Kansas City area hospital for treatment and then was taken into custody at the Henry County jail.

This undated photo released by the Missouri State Highway Patrol shows Ian McCarthy, of Clinton, Mo., who was charged Monday, Aug. 7, 2017, with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the fatal shooting of Clinton police officer Gary Michael during a traffic stop on Sunday. McCarthy was arrested Tuesday, Aug. 8. Missouri State Highway Patrol dispatchers said he was taken into custody in Henry County, which includes the city of Clinton. (Missouri State Highway Patrol via AP) (Associated Press)

“We’re just extremely thankful to the citizens of Henry County and citizens of Clinton that continued to give us tips and information. Without that, we may still be looking for him,” Lowe said.

McCarthy was not armed when he was arrested. Investigators will continue to look for the weapon used in Michael’s shooting and try to determine a motive, Lowe said.

McCarthy is also wanted in New Hampshire, where a warrant was issued in 2013 when he failed to show up for sentencing on a disorderly conduct charge, according to court records in that state. He served about four years in prison there for first-degree assault and a parole violation. He also is wanted on a warrant out of Johnson County, Missouri, in 2015 for unlawful possession of a firearm.

Lowe said earlier Tuesday that it was possible that those outstanding warrants prompted McCarthy to shoot Michael to avoid arrest. He also could have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or not in his right mind for some reason, Lowe said.


Michael’s brother, Chris Michael, said the family is relieved that the suspect has been caught alive so “justice could be served.” Michael told KCTV5 that McCarthy’s capture was a positive step for everyone mourning his brother.

“We’re just happy that we’re going to be able to put this one Band-Aid in a long process of healing on, and start to move forward,” he said.

About 100 local, county and state law enforcement officers were involved in the search for McCarthy, who fled in his car, then on foot after the shooting.


Authorities earlier Tuesday converged on a home in Chilhowee, Missouri, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northwest of Clinton after receiving a tip that McCarthy might be hiding there, but that tip did not pan out, Lowe said.

“It’s a relief for us that he’s in custody but it’s with extreme sadness it was a result of Officer Michael losing his life,” said Lowe Tuesday night. “There’s no words we can say or express to his family, how sorry we are, but we hope this gives them some closure in this.”

Michael, who had been on the force less than a year, was the first police officer killed in the line of duty in Clinton, a town of just 9,000 people. He was a military police officer overseas for about five years before returning to the Kansas City area. He decided in his 30s to become a police officer and served in Appleton City for a short time before joining the force in Clinton.

Services for Michael will begin with a public vigil Wednesday night at the Henry County Courthouse. A visitation is scheduled for Friday from 6-9 p.m. at the Vansant-Mills Funeral Home in Clinton, with the funeral scheduled for Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Benson Convention Center, with a public viewing two hours before the service.
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Associated Press reporter Jim Suhr also contributed to this story.

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Source: washingtonpost
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About Le Minh Hieu

Le Minh Hieu is a national-level weightlifter and a Singapore Weightlifting sports performance coach. Hieu's biggest passion is helping everyone find confidence, happiness, and health through fitness.