- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 15, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

North Korea just backed away from its wildly wild vow to take out Guam, turning down the heat a notch on what was becoming the media’s most favored message of late — the one that painted President Donald Trump as the crazed White House madman, steadily leading America toward a path of fire and destruction.

Hmm. Guess who’s red-faced now?

Suddenly, Trump’s harsh response to North Korea’s loudly proclaimed threats against America don’t seem too “reckless,” do they, Sen. Chuck Schumer?

Schumer, remember, decried Trump’s “fire and fury” comment as “reckless” and said such “rhetoric is not a strategy to keep America safe.”

Plenty of others said similarly — plenty of others whose faces should be red right about now.

There was Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin, who said: “Trump’s comments were not helpful and once again show that he lacks the temperament and judgment to deal with the serious crisis the United States confronts.”

And there was Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who said, “Trump is not helping the situation with his bombastic comments.”

And there was also Republican Sen. John McCain, who snarked “the great leaders I’ve seen don’t threaten unless they’re ready to act and I’m not sure President Trump is ready to act.”

Well, apparently Kim Jong-un believed Trump was ready to act, because just this week he did a 180 on his threat to strike Guam.

He said in a statement reported by North Korea’s state-run media: “If the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions on the Korean Peninsula and in its vicinity, testing the self-restraint of the DPRK, the [North] will make an important decision as its already declared.”

In other words: Trump, 1; North Korea, 0. Kim blinked; the White House stood strong.

The regime, in the face of this Trump administration, has backed off its attack plans.

Kim tried to temper the sharp curve of his course switch by explaining that his regime would still stand ready to blow up Guam if the United States continued to make “arrogant provocations” and “unilateral demands,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

But the jig’s up, Casey.

We all know Kim’s full of it.

We all know North Korea knows this president means business — and with that knowledge comes U.S. safety. With that, comes a peace through strength approach to governing.

Suddenly, Trump’s rhetoric — his vow to respond to North Korea’s threats “with fire and fury and frankly, power, the likes of which this world has never seen before” — is the magic elixir to Kim’s bully tactics.

Of course, don’t expect Trump’s naysayers to pat him on the back for standing up to the face of North Korean intimidation. Instead, they’ll focus on the fact Kim reserved the option to attack, as if that bit of obvious verbiage actually stood for something concrete and strong.

But to those in America who cheered as Trump took on a regime past White House administrations have sought to soothe and calm, the facts are crystal clear, the lessons are doubly duly learned: Returning bully fire with like bully fire is the way to deal with foreign adversaries.

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