As tensions with North Korea escalate, Trump retweets several comparisons with Obama

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While Trump on Tuesday warned North Korea not to threaten the US and spoke of meeting the North with "fire and fury like the world has never seen", Tillerson on Wednesday played down those comments. And the modernization effort that started under former President Barack Obama hasn't been altered by the Trump administration.

President Donald Trump says the United States' nuclear arsenal is "far stronger and more powerful than ever before". He also said that he hopes the USA will never have to use its nuclear weapons.

On Twitter Wednesday, Trump said he had pushed to "renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal".

"I think that the president, again, as commander-in-chief, I think he felt it necessary to issue a very strong statement directly to North Korea", he added.

Trump's unexpected remarks prompted North Korea to respond by saying it was considering plans for a missile strike on the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.

Jim Carafano, a Heritage Foundation scholar who advised Trump's transition team on foreign policy, said the messages conveyed to North Korea were aimed at different audiences: Trump to the American people, Tillerson to the diplomatic community and Mattis to the military establishment.

Later in the day, on Fox News, Gorka said that he had been "admonishing the journalist" who, he said, had asked the top U.S. diplomat to make "the military case for action, when that is not the mandate of the Secretary of State".

North Korea regularly threatens to destroy the United States. I just wonder when President Trump will try and claim that he too doesn't need to use a toilet or that his hair is the envy of every man, woman and child on the planet.

When host Tim Russert pushed back against the idea of military action against North Korea, Trump insisted that it was better to consider striking early rather than wait for North Korea to get stronger.

He insisted that nothing has changed over the past 24 hours that would make a military response to the dispute more likely adding that "the American people should sleep well at night".

White House deputy adviser Sebastian Gorka dismissed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's reassurances that "Americans should sleep well at night" in response to escalating tensions between the US and North Korea.

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