WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — My nuclear button is bigger — and better — than your nuclear button.
That’s the message from President Donald Trump to North Korea’s Kim Jong-un.
Trump tweeted Tuesday in response to Kim’s declaration earlier this week that he has a button for nuclear weapons on his table and the entire U.S. mainland is now within strike range.
Trump asks if someone from Kim’s “depleted and food starved regime” can “please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”
Trump does not actually have a nuclear button on his desk. The nuclear “football” is carried by a rotating group of military officers everywhere the president goes.
The Tuesday exchange comes amid talks of a potential meeting offered up by South Korea to the North Korean leader after Kim Jong-un expressed interest in sending a delegation to the Winter Olympics that will take place there next month.
Though it appears South Korea wants the face-to-face, the White House has remained stern and says its official position that the United States will not negotiate with North Korea unless it is willing to end its nuclear weapons program has not changed.
“We’ve been very clear about the fact of what our priority is,” Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Tuesday. “That’s a denuclearized peninsula, and there’s nothing new to update on that front.”
American ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley echoed Sanders’ sentiment.
“North Korea can talk with anyone they want, but the United States isn’t going to recognize it or acknowledge it until they agree to ban the nuclear weapons that they have,” Haley said.
Pyongyang continues to flex its weapons capabilities, and appears to be in the early stages of another launch.
A New Year’s Day tweet from Trump prompted a response from Pakistan. The Monday message alleged Pakistan gives “safe haven to the terrorists we hunt,” prompting protests in that country with demonstrators chanting anti-Trump slogans and burning the American flag.
In Iran, clashes continued for a sixth straight day over political, religions, and economic unrest. More than 20 have been killed, and hundreds have been arrested. The president took an opportunity to chime in, warning “the US is watching.” Iran’s supreme leader responded, claiming foreign enemies are trying to destabilize the nation.
North Korea has yet to respond to South Korea’s offer to meet. If it does happen, it will take place in a border village the two countries share as soon as next week.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)