By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - Just days after warning of "fire and fury" should North Korea continue to threaten the U.S., President Donald Trump said Thursday his admonishment might not have been stern enough.
"Maybe it wasn't tough enough," Trump told reporters at his New Jersey golf club. "You'll see", was his response when asked what would be stronger than his initial warning.
"If North Korea does anything in terms of even thinking about attack of anybody that we love, or we represent, or our allies or us, they can be very, very nervous. I'll tell you what. And they should be very nervous," he said.
"Things will happen to them like they never thought possible,” he added, but declined to say whether or not he is considering pre-emptive action.
Trump's initial "fire and fury" comments Tuesday further heightened concerns of a looming confrontation on the Korean Peninsula.
Seeking to temper concerns, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday, "Americans should sleep well at night.
"What the president was doing was sending a strong message to North Korea in a language that Kim Jong-un would understand," Tillerson said.
Tillerson's diplomatic effort drew a strong condemnation from Trump's deputy assistant Sebastian Gorka who told British media "the idea that Secretary Tillerson is going to discuss military matters is simply nonsensical.
"Secretary Tillerson is the chief diplomat of the United States, and it is his portfolio to handle those issues," he added.
Undeterred by Trump's warning earlier this week, North Korea shrugged off the president's rhetoric, calling it "a load of nonsense” while threatening to hit a major U.S. base on the Pacific island of Guam.
“North Korea better get their act together or they are going to be in trouble like few nations have ever been in trouble," Trump said Thursday.