Since the end of the Cold War, American presidents have been progressively disarming the U.S., retiring nuclear warheads. This came as a result of the decreased need for nuclear weapons in an age without mutually assured destruction hanging over the heads of Russians and Americans.
However, in the wake of his threat to attack North Korea with "fire and fury," President Trump seems to say he hasn't continued on that trajectory of disarmament. He announced via Twitter on Wednesday morning that the United States's nuclear arsenal is stronger than it's ever been before in American history.
"My first order as President," said Trump, "was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal. It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before."
He continued in a second tweet, "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!"
The president's tweets come shortly after Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, urged Americans to remain calm. He said early Wednesday morning that Americans should "sleep well" and that conflict has not become more imminent, reports AP.
“Nothing that I have seen and nothing that I know of would indicate that the situation has dramatically changed in the last 24 hours,” said Tillerson.
He also supported Trump's Tuesday statement about North Korea.
“What the president is doing is sending a strong message to North Korea in language that Kim Jong Un can understand, because he doesn’t seem to understand diplomatic language,” declared the Secretary of State. “I think the president just wanted to be clear to the North Korean regime on the U.S. unquestionable ability to defend itself, will defend itself and its allies.”
Tillerson also announced that he believes the U.S. foreign policy on North Korea is having an impact on North Korea. This foreign policy includes the harshest sanctions the U.S. has placed on any country in recent years.
“The pressure is starting to show,” said Tillerson. “I think that’s why the rhetoric coming out of Pyongyang is beginning to become louder and more threatening. Whether we’ve got them backed into a corner or not is difficult to say, but diplomatically, you never like to have someone in a corner without a way for them to get out.”
To read more about North Korea, see our latest article about the struggle. While Tillerson and others support the president, John McCain doesn't seem like he's supporting Republicans anymore.