While the US has daunting nuclear power, the Pentagon's program has been beset with morale, training, discipline and resource problems. "I may not have used those exact words, but I'm glad he spoke forcefully", one GOP national security aide says.
Others were more measured but were clearly skeptical of Trump's contention. Earlier this week, after a Washington Post report indicated North Korea was expanding its nuclear capabilities, Trump retweeted a message from former usa ambassador John Bolton saying that "our country & civilians are vulnerable today because @BarackObama did not believe in national missile defense".
On Aug. 8, North Korea warned that they may use the missiles in response to a new round of U.N. sanctions that the country says is meant to "strangle a nation".
Trump demonstrated his interest in the nuclear arsenal before taking office, tweeting in December that "the United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes".
MARTIN: Yeah. But I hear you suggesting that you're concerned that there could be a miscalculation made, that on the one hand, President Trump is using the lexicon, using the language that Kim Jong Un is using in that style.
NY [U.S.] President Donald Trump has expressed his desire to rid the world of nuclear weapons, however, saying that until other nations disarm, the United States will have the finest nuclear arsenal.
Trump signed an executive order in January directing the Pentagon to do a new nuclear posture review - a standard move for incoming administrations.
He did not order the modernization of the nuclear arsenal.
"It's everyone who's ever doubted Donald, who ever disagreed, who ever challenged him", she said.
South Korea and the United States remain technically still at war with North Korea after the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended with a truce, not a peace treaty.
That context makes it harder for North Korea-or U.S. allies in the region, like South Korea and Japan-to dismiss Trump's statements as mere bluster, or to believe Secretary of State Rex Tillerson when he offers reassurances to that effect. He said that if the threats do not cease, the country will face consequences.
"I know that President Obama said global warming is the biggest threat".
Fisher, who specialised in negotiation and conflict management, had a pretty grotesque idea about what the procedure for launching a nuclear attack should look like - but one that's chiming with people online.
It tweeted on August 4 that 61 percent thought Trump was better, compared to 39 percent who thought Obama was better. The distinction makes all the difference. "The miscalculation is, if they really believe that the United States is about to attack, what might they do to preempt that attack?" Rather than building on that hard work, though, inexact speech and prevarications threaten Trump's credibility, and by extension the credibility of the US.
Indeed, Trump is not likely to welcome Obama's comeback.
It hasn't, though, stopped Trump from making broad proclamations about it. The shift since then and now might be explained by heightened rhetoric and threats from both sides of the Pacific.