"It is the job of Secretary Mattis, the Secretary of Defense, to talk about the military options, and he has done so unequivocally", Gorka continued. "He said, 'Woe betide anyone who militarily challenges the United States, ' and that is his portfolio".
"The president's loose and imprecise language is in stark contrast to the consummate professionalism of the men and women of our nuclear forces, who stand watch in defense of our country with the utmost gravity every minute of every day", he said.
On global markets, the strong rhetoric and sharp increase in tensions drove investors out of stocks and other risky assets on Wednesday and into textbook safe havens like gold and Treasuries. The Defense Department and Energy Department spent billions of dollars on refurbishing the arsenal and bringing aging nuclear weapons up to modern capabilities as well as guidance systems and related technologies. "It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before" - is the latest act of brinkmanship between the USA and North Korea. "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!".
While the US has daunting nuclear power, the Pentagon's program has been beset with morale, training, discipline and resource problems.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says he doesn't believe there is "any imminent threat" from North Korea, including to the US territory of Guam.
"Just because the rhetoric goes up, doesn't mean our posture changes", one official said. Lindsey Graham says Trump isn't going to just "contain the threat".
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While Trump said the nuclear arsenal was more powerful than ever before, USA officials say it takes decades to actually modernize nuclear weapons, a move already under way under President Barack Obama's administration, and there are treaties that regulate nuclear expansion.
But the January 27 memorandum was not the first action taken by President Trump.
Sebastian Gorka, a deputy assistant to President Donald Trump, adamantly denied reports that he dismissed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's role in the North Korea crisis in a radio interview. Ben Cardin, the Foreign affairs committee's top Democrat, compared Trump's comments to those issued by North Korea itself. "They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen".
"What they've been doing and what they've been getting away with is a tragedy and it can't be allowed", Trump said. "But diplomatically you never like to have someone in a corner without a way for them to get out".
The tweet came as Trump traded escalating threats with North Korea.
"The words were his own", said Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Gorka said that Tillerson had "done an unbelievable job" to help guide new sanctions against North Korea through the United Nations Security Council, but "when reporters try to force him to make statements regarding military options, they have no idea what they're talking about, and if they think that's a story, they're not journalists".